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British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta raises the stakes in race for Thyssenkrupp Steel assets

Europe

Despite opposition from key employees and talk of German business traditions, Thyssenkrupp may still have to sell its steel business to a British oligarch.

British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta raises the stakes in race for Thyssenkrupp Steel assets

Thyssenkrupp may give Britain's Liberty Steel access to its steelmaker's books as early as next week, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Liberty Steel, led by metallurgical tycoon Sanjeev Gupta, unveiled a non-binding indicative offer for Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe last month, which the conglomerate put up for sale to cut losses and stem cash outflows.

Earlier it was reported that the German concern remains open to negotiations with any interested buyer of its unprofitable metallurgical business.

The proposal from Liberty Steel caused particularly strong employee dissatisfaction. Jürgen Kerner, Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board of ThyssenKrupp, spoke out unequivocally against the deal.

Kerner once again accused Liberty Steel of simply wanting cheap deals with a big name.

“It's kind of like a bargain hunt. Liberty Steel has grown by buying underperforming facilities, ”Kerner said. “Now she is trying to get a name based on traditions for little money. ThyssenKrupp does not need a new owner, ThyssenKrupp needs liquidity.

Thyssenkrupp plans to cut another 5,000 jobs, in addition to previously announced layoffs of 6,000 employees, to stem the growing losses of € 1.6 billion in the last fiscal year.

The company said it plans to make a decision on what to do with its struggling steel business next spring after the division suffered losses of nearly a billion euros as the COVID-19 pandemic hit steel demand. .

As a reminder, earlier this year, Thyssenkrupp sold his elevator technology business to a consortium led by Advent, Cinven and RAG for € 17.2 billion. The concern has repeatedly received state aid from the German government, but financial problems are becoming more and more threatening.

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