THYSSENKRUPP is nearing a long-awaited sale of its US steel plant and has reached an agreement to settle a cartel lawsuit, clearing the way for it to raise much-needed capital.
Shares in Germany’s biggest steelmaker fell two per cent, however, as it became clear that the deal would not include the company’s lossmaking Brazilian factory.
ThyssenKrupp has been trying for more than a year and a half to find a buyer for Steel Americas – comprised of the US plant and the steel mill in Brazil – which has drained cash from the company for the past few years.
The deal comes as the United States experiences a phase of re-industrialisation as low power prices encourage manufacturers to boost output.
ThyssenKrupp said it was pushing back the publication of its annual financial results to 2 December as the US sale talks had entered the home stretch.
Finding a solution to its problems in the Americas and settling the cartel issue would represent a major boost for ThyssenKrupp Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger, who has struggled to resolve lingering problems at Germany's biggest steelmaker since taking the helm in early 2011.
Hiesinger has been trying to shift ThyssenKrupp away from the volatile steel business into higher-margin products and services such as elevators, submarines and factory components.
Three people familiar with the matter said ThyssenKrupp was in exclusive talks to sell the plant in Calvert, Alabama to a consortium of ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel. One of the sources said that the bidders were likely to pay $1.5bn for the business.
City A.M. Reporter