The German industrial firm vying to pick up Tata Steel is plotting alternative strategies if the deal to save Britain's largest steel operator fails.
Thyssenkrupp is considering spinning off its European steel division into a separate company that could be listed, according to reports today by German publication WirtschftsWoche.
Chief executive Heinrich Hiesinger is under pressure from investors to consider alternatives, with sources saying a merger with Tata Steel, the company's preferred route, is not to everyone's liking.
A spokesperson for Thyssenkrupp told Reuters: "There is no new status."
Tata Steel and Thyssenkrupp are in negotiations over the merger of their European steel units, with Tata's UK operations causing the biggest headache.
Talks have stalled in recent weeks, with the sticking point being Tata Steel's mammoth UK pension deficit. The German firm is only prepared to go ahead with the merger if scheme can be left behind.
With workers receiving reduced returns alongside the cash injection, the hope is that pension trustees will be given sufficient comfort to allow the scheme to be cut adrift. This, it is hoped, will provide the catalyst for Tata Steel and Thyssenkrupp to get back round the table to hammer out a merger deal.