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November 12, 2019updated 15 Nov 2019 11:13am

ThyssenKrupp hope for a rapid lift from elevator unit sale

Here EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager speaks at a news conference on EU merger control between Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp at the European Commission. A killing blow came as the European Commission blocked the proposed merger.

The ThyssenKrupp elevator unit looks likely to be sold. This streamlining is the best option for the German industrial giant. The conglomerate is having to accelerate divestments to halt its shares bleeding value.

Among the current offers, a bid from Finnish elevator rival Kone in partnership with CVC equity group looks attractive. It could go to EUR22bn ($24.3bn), and will be best for ThyssenKrupp and would come with the support of the workers union.

However, both companies involved are wary about the European Commission potentially blocking the deal. This would be because it would grant a huge market share to the Finnish engineering company.

Consequently, the strict conditions imposed by the competition authority for the deal to go through will reduce the appeal of the sale for ThyssenKrupp.

A last minute bid from Hitachi has not been ruled-out yet. The Japanese industrial conglomerate is immersed in an intensive M&A strategy. They showed early interest in buying the elevator unit when rumors of a possible sale started. However, they did not make a firm offer.

The proposed sale of the unit is not new. However, it has transformed from a last resort to the main option in only a few months. At first the German group preferred to push for a partial IPO of the elevator division.

The attractiveness of the unit, seen by bidders as providing a regular stream of revenue from service maintenance, will ensure a fast sale in acceptable terms for the steel company.

Steep fall in shares forces ThyssenKrupp elevator sale

ThyssenKrupp lost a quarter of its share value in the last year. Add to this a negative cash flow and four profit targets missed in a row and the situation requires action. ThyssenKrupp need to act fast to get over an awful year for the company.

In these last 12 months the German steel giant have seen its interim CEO removed due to an inability to meet profit targets while failing to stop the bleeding in share value.

This happened months after the company, one of the founders of the DAX 50, was forced out of the index because of its poor performance.

The last blow came from the European Commission, which blocked the merger between ThyssenKrupp and Tata steel, arguing that it would affect competition and could lead to price increases.

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