FRANKFURT/DUESSELDORF (Reuters) – Thyssenkrupp’s <TKAG.DE> CEO on Tuesday said there were no taboos in plans to consolidate its steel unit, marking a break with tradition under which the business had been sacrosanct for centuries.
“Nothing is off-limits anymore,” Martina Merz said after unveiling late on Monday that the group was in talks with steel peers about consolidation options. She said the coronavirus pandemic was opening up new possibilities for cooperation
“We are drawing on the full range of options. That means all forms of consolidation are being looked at, including mergers, takeovers, us acquiring peers, and us developing the unit independently,” Merz told journalists during a call.
Shares in the group were up 3.4%.
The comments mark a reversal in the strategy of what is Germany’s largest steelmaker, whose roots go back more than 200 years and whose former success as an industrial icon was built on the metal.
A profit driver in economic upswings, Thyssenkrupp’s steel unit swung to a loss in the first half of the conglomerate’s fiscal year, hit by global overcapacity and the downturn in the automotive sector it supplies.
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Tom Kaeckenhoff; Editing by Michelle Martin)