Thyssenkrupp open to idea of German steel merger – CEO Steel Europe

FILE PHOTO: A steel worker of Germany’s industrial conglomerate ThyssenKrupp AG works near a blast furnace at Germany’s largest steel factory in Duisburg, Germany, January 28, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Thyssenkrupp has not dismissed the idea of merging its steel business, Europe’s second largest, with a rival, said Bernhard Osburg, chief executive of Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe, citing pressure to rein in costs and creating lean structures.

“Consolidation certainly remains a key topic,” he told reporters at a briefing.

As the wider Thyssenkrupp group is studying whether to split off the steel section, merge it, or take it private separately, Osburg said he saw many reasons in favour of an alliance and only several against it.

Smaller peer Salzgitter had cold-shouldered Thyssenkrupp in the matter but is undergoing a change at its helm. A joint focus on developing green hydrogen for steelmaking could become a unifying factor.

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