Thyssenkrupp is about to sell a stake of 50% in its tk Steel unit to Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský, German media reports.
Over recent months, Křetínský was heard to have emerged as an investor candidate in tk Steel (see Kallanish passim). Only some weeks ago, thyssenkrupp steel chief executive Bernhard Osburg was quoted as saying he is open to any investor who contributes to the strength of a major stakeholder. He said he especially welcomes investors with expertise in industries like steel or energy.
According to business daily Handelsblatt, talks have matured to the point that the size of a stake – 50% – has been revealed by people familiar with the matter. The new ceo of thyssenkrup AG, Miguel Lopez is pressing on with the negotiations, and a deal could reportedly still be finalised this year.
Another daily, WAZ, writes that the rumour has been received with dismay by union IG Metall, which called the plan a sell-out driven by Lopez.
When contacted by Kallanish, thyssenkrupp declined to comment on the rumours, but confirmed its efforts for the deconsolidation of the steel business.
Christian Koehl Germany