Thyssenkrupp, Salzgitter deny active merger talks

Germany’s biggest steelmakers, thyssenkrupp and Salzgitter AG, have denied they are in active merger talks after rumours to that effect resurfaced last weekend.

Weekly Der Spiegel wrote it had been informed about an upcoming meeting between new thyssenkrupp ceo Martina Merz and Salzgitter chief Hans Jörg Fuhrmann, “…which could be used to test the waters.”
Salzgitter responded by saying Merz and Fuhrmann knew one another personally before Merz turned ceo of tk group. “Both met last year, too, so this is hardly spectacular,” the company says in a response to a Kallanish query, adding that another meeting is not on the agenda. The reply confirms Fuhrmann’s earlier comments that “…I have not seen a scheme for a merger with a competitor that contains an advantage for us.” Fuhrmann notes, however, that he would not rule out the possibility.

Thyssenkrupp reiterated that it favours consolidation among European steelmakers in principle. Apart from that, it refrained from giving any comment on Salzgitter but maintained that “…the steel strategy announced in December has priority.” The strategy is currently under discussion between the management and workforce, with tangible decisions expected to come in the following weeks.