Construction company eyes higher stake in Salzgitter

GP Günter Papenburg, a German construction group, has informed Salzgitter that it intends to increase its stake in the steelmaker. GP currently owns 10.10% of the voting rights, which possibly makes it the largest single stakeholder in Salzgitter apart from the State of Lower Saxony, which owns a blocking minority of 25+%.

“Our participation in Salzgitter AG primarily serves the implementation of our own strategic goals,” GP writes in a note to Salzgitter seen by Kallanish. “We can envisage acquiring further voting rights in Salzgitter AG through acquisition or in some other way within the next 12 months, depending on market developments and other economic circumstances.”

One interesting detail is that GP says it has acquired 50% in another company based in the city of Salzgitter, EF Holding, which is active in slag processing at strip-making unit Salzgitter Flachstahl.

While GP could not be reached for comment by press time, the move seems to suggest that construction companies could have a strategic interest in gaining more control at steelmakers. This could give them a better position in securing construction materials – primary materials like plate and sections at Salzgitter, as well as secondary materials like slag.

Construction activity has kept largely flourishing in Germany, while many construction materials – steel as well as wood, concrete, insulation – have become critically scarce. The waiting time for rebar, for example, currently extends into August (see separate story).

Christian Koehl Germany