Thyssenkrupp’s CEO Guido Kerkhoff prefers that its Elevator Technology business be listed on a stock exchange.
According to two sources familiar with the matter at hand, Thyssenkrupp’s supervisory board has left provisions open for a potential sale of its elevator unit.
Guido Kerkhoff, Thyssenkrupp’s CEO prefers that the business should be listed on the stock exchange.
Thyssenkrupp’s supervisory board, which approved Kerkhoff’s new turnaround plan, has unanimously backed the planned initial public offering (IPO) of a minority stake in Elevator Technology (ET), Thyssenkrupp’s most profitable unit.
Significantly, it has also asked Thyssenkrupp’s board to consider the most sensible economic options for ET, which Kone has been eyeing to acquire, thus potentially leaving a scope for its sale.
According to sources, “Kerkhoff would have to review any offer for ET made by an outside party for the unit as part of his mandate, even though the listing is his plan A to raise cash and ease pressure on the group’s stretched balance sheet”.
Unlike an IPO, in the event of a sale of ET to a rival, attracts significant antitrust risks – a key concern for investors after Brussels blocked a planned steel joint venture with Tata Steel – which could delay a sale.
With the news of Kone eyeing a potential acquisition of ET reaching the market, Thyssenkrupp’s shares jumped by 10.9%.
Although labour leaders, who control half of Thyssenkrupp’s 20-member supervisory board, support the IPO plans, they are sceptical of a potential divestment of ET, since that could involve thousands of job cuts.
Incidentally, “Kerkhoff’s new strategy involves 6,000 job cuts and a flexible approach to ownership of its individual business units, including plant engineering, car parts, steel, materials trading and shipbuilding”, said sources.