Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that Thyssenkrupp AG is considering listing its steel division on the stock market amid mounting opposition to a potential sale to Liberty Steel Group. People told Bloomberg “Thyssenkrupp executives are studying the idea of handing existing shareholders stock in the steel unit. Some supervisory board members have called on Thyssenkrupp to explore an alternative to the Liberty sale after union officials and some large shareholders raised concerns. Representatives for Thyssenkrupp’s biggest shareholder, the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation, have raised concerns about the viability of Liberty’s bid and funding model with management.”
Bloomberg report added that the people said that “Some of them pointed to a similar transaction that didn’t end well for the company, which in 2012 sold its stainless steel unit Inoxum to Outokumpu Oyj only to buy back some assets a year later.”
However “No final decisions have been made on whether to opt for a sale or spinoff of the unit.”
The considerations come ahead of a binding bid of Mr Sanjeev Gupta’s Liberty plans to make later this month.
A spinoff would represent yet another twist in Thyssenkrupp’s years-long effort to find a lasting solution for its steel unit, which employs about 27,000 people. Thyssenkrupp has confirmed it’s in talks with London-based Liberty over a sale of the division, which has been struggling amid a global steel glut and large pension deficits.