thyssenkrupp looks again at reorganising its steel business

thyssenkrupp (tk) has returned to highlighting its interest in finding an international partner for its steel business. Initial media speculation has already revealed to whom it might be talking.

Late on 18 May, the executives of the German conglomerate revealed the long-term strategy they had previously announced for the early summer. Following the recent sale of the Elevator division, the group intends to slim down much further, and to spin off more units. This will be the case for activities like Plant Technology, Powertrain Solutions, Springs and Stabilisers, Infrastructure, and Battery Solutions.

Regarding its steel activities, tk did not announce anything new. It aims to sell the Italian stainless plant AST Terni, and seeks either the sale or closure of its heavy plate production in Duisburg. On a general level, tk says it is preparing for a standalone development within the company for its Steel division, but at the same time is continuing to explore possible partnerships and consolidation options.

Meanwhile, Reuters and Handelsblatt have already quoted insiders as saying that the companies tk is talking to are Sweden’s SSAB, China’s Baosteel, and, again, Tata Steel. When contacted by Kallanish, tk’s press office declined to comment on the reports.

In other media sources, trade union IG Metall was cited as approving the group’s plan in general. However, for the Steel division, it favours a solution which would leave the ownership of the mills in German hands.

Regarding its steel & materials distribution business in the Materials Services division, thyssenkrupp says it sees consistently good development potential. For this division as well as for Industrial Components (Forged Technologies and Bearings), tk will continue to develop these businesses on its own in the future.