The German steel company intends to come out of the volatile steel sector and intends to focus on making car parts and elevators.
On Tuesday, German business daily Handelsblatt reported citing an interview of Thyssenkrupp’s Chairman Ulrich Lehner in which he rejected investor calls to break up the industrial group; instead Lehner has backed the company’s top management to transform the company into a technology group.
“Breaking up the group is not at all an issue,” Lehner was quoted as saying by Handelsblatt.
Heinrich Hiesinger, Thyssenkrupp’s CEO, who has run the group since 2011, is steering the company away from the steel sector and towards a technology company focused on elevators and car parts.
Thyssenkrupp has struck a deal with India’s Tata Steel and is facing pressure over the planned merger from its labor unions.
Cevian Capital, which holds nearly 18% of the company, has been very critical on the course the company’s management is taking the company; Cevian has also criticized the management on its failure to boost profitability and has called for structural changes to the group to enable it to be more agile.
“If an investor positions itself publicly in such a way, then this hurts the company,” said Lehner.
As per Handelsblatt, the head of Thyssenkrupp’s supervisory board has backed Hiesinger ahead of a meeting with the CEO and Cevian founder Lars Foerberg on Tuesday.
“The team around Heinrich Hiesinger is doing an excellent job,” said Lehner. “It has the full support of the supervisory board and I appreciate the cooperation very much.”
He went on to add, “A breakup is not an optional issue that one can deal with carelessly. If there was need to take action on that front, then this would also be addressed and discussed within the supervisory board.”