Swiss Steel gets new big stakeholder

The transfer of 10% in Swiss Steel by the main shareholder to a new investor on Friday was hailed by the group as a “significant change in the shareholder structure,” Kallanish reports.

“Swiss Steel Holding AG has been informed that BigPoint Holding AG has sold 306,000,000 shares ( …) to PCS Holding AG,” the maker of special long products wrote in a very brief statement. PCS is the investment vehicle of Swiss Entrepreneur Peter Spuhler, main owner of trains maker company Stadler Rail.
The announcement was preceded by the news that Liwet Holding had failed with an appeal to block a capital increase at the group. The investment vehicle of Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg had opposed the move, which was instigated by Martin Haefner, the man behind BigPoint (see Kallanish passim).

In an interpretation of the latest development, Swiss business daily Handelszeitung criticises mistakes by the group’s management and expresses belief that the new owner could bring some movement going forward. Among other things, the paper points out that an intended sale of Ascometal would have been a “bad idea,” given that the French unit returned to profit in the first quarter.

The author notes that Ascometal was originally acquired to facilitate a reshuffle of activities with Deutsche Edelstahlwerke, which suffers from high costs. He speculates that in the long run, one of the four German mills could be closed, with production moved to Ascometal.

Christian Koehl Germany