State participation in steel “is off the table”

Because of the Corona crisis, the Thyssenkrupp Group had the option of joining the state. But that is now “off the table”. The group is considering selling the ailing steel division.

Thyssenkrupp rejects the state’s entry into its ailing steel division. “The topic of state participation is off the table,” said CFO Klaus Keysberg of the “Rheinische Post” (Saturday). The economic stabilization fund is not the appropriate means to support the steel sector in the current situation with equity. IG Metall and the North Rhine-Westphalian SPD had called for the state to join the largest German steel manufacturer.

To justify this, Keysberg referred to the strict requirements of the stabilization fund: “In our case, due to the interest payments and the repayment modalities, such a participation would be associated with such high costs for the company that the additional burden would seriously endanger the future of the steel.” Thyssenkrupp is still in talks with the federal and state governments about support options for the conversion to climate-neutral steel production.

Will the steel division be sold?

Thyssenkrupp is under time pressure to reorganize its steel business. According to Group boss Martina Merz, it will be decided by March how to proceed with the company’s core area.

Thyssenkrupp has received an offer to buy from the British company Liberty Steel. That is a “serious option”. Alternatives with other potential partners had “not been sufficiently concretized at this point in time,” said Keysberg.

Going it alone with steel is still an option. “It’s not about getting rid of the steel,” said Keysberg. But then further savings would be necessary “to get the steel sector back on track very quickly”.

There are already first conceptual considerations for this. This should be discussed with the employee representatives. Merz had already announced a tightening of staff cuts at the annual press conference in November.

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