E.The expected takeover offer for the steel division of Thyssen-Krupp caused cheers on the stock exchange and horror among employee representatives on Friday. While the company’s share price shot up by more than 23 percent at times, the IG Metall union went on the barricades. By noon, the price was still up a whopping 14 percent. If the steel business is sold to Liberty, there is a risk that Thyssen-Krupp Steel Europe will be broken up and many jobs will be lost.
In the morning, Thyssen-Krupp steelmakers want to demonstrate in Düsseldorf for a state entry into the steel division. Thyssen-Krupp Steel Europe employs around 27,000 people and is currently posting high losses.
According to an insider, the British group wants to grab the ailing steel division and submit an offer on Friday. Liberty Steel has a total of more than 30,000 employees in Europe, Great Britain, the United States and China and has a production capacity of 18 million tons. The company was founded in 1992 by Sanjeev Gupta, a UK-based industrial mogul. He also built the group through acquisitions, including businesses from Tata Steel Europe and ArcelorMittal.
“Liberty apparently wants to buy in the one-euro store,” said IG Metall district chief Giesler. The union and the works council have been calling for the state to join the steel division for weeks. So far, however, it has met with rejection both in NRW and at the federal level. Thyssen-Kkrupp CEO Martina Merz has not ruled out the sale of the steel division and has also called a state entry plus partner as an option.
According to circles, the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Armin Laschet plans to take part in the rally. Several people familiar with the plans said that he wanted to address the steel cookers in a speech. The CDU politician sits on the board of trustees of the Krupp Foundation, the largest single shareholder in the group. Thyssen-Krupp steel works council chief Tekin Nasikkol had asked Laschet to make a clear commitment to steel in an interview.
After the recent price slide on the European stock markets, some investors are taking the opportunity to get back into the market. Because of the increasing number of new corona infections, the mood remains cracked, warned analyst Timo Emden from Emden Research. “Should there be a second lockdown, investors should sooner or later throw in the towel.” However, the Dax and Euro Stoxx 50 initially rose by more than half a percent to 12,787 and 3,220 points, respectively, after rising 2.5 percent on Thursday had lost.
If the spread of the pandemic continues as before, politicians who want to avoid nationwide lockdowns will have no choice but to give in, said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at brokerage firm AvaTrade. This would stall the economy again. In addition, investors have given up hope of additional American economic stimulus soon, despite President Donald Trump’s most recent compromise offer. “In view of the differences so far, an agreement before the election seems extremely difficult.”