The often-rumoured potential of Klöckner going for a major joint venture with thyssenkrupp’s distribution unit Material Services is largely off the table, says Klöckner’s ceo, Gisbert Rühl.
A press report last week of a meeting of the top management of both companies had refuelled such speculation. However, Rühl played down its significance in his company’s results conference call this week. “Of course, we are talking to (thyssenkrupp ceo) Guido Kerkhoff. We do meet sometimes, we even live in the same neighbourhood in Essen, after all,” he told Kallanish.
Consideration of taking a major stake in tk Materials Services essentially expired when tk AG re-declared steel as one of its core businesses after the failure to merge tk Steel with Tata, Rühl said. There was never any active ambition from Klöckner’s side in that direction, and any deal would have been a result of the earlier circumstances if tk had integrated with Tata, he stressed.
Klöckner still remains open to some form of cooperation, “… and we can imagine taking a minority stake, for example, but essentially we are not looking for acquisitions these days,” Rühl said. He noted that the company is currently busy with restructuring its operating business, delegating responsibilities down to the country units, that have previously been held by the holding company.