Germany’s ThyssenKrupp in talks to sell blanks unit to China’s Wuhan Iron

German steel group ThyssenKrupp AG (ETR:TKA) is nearing an agreement on the sale of its Tailored Blanks business to Chinese iron and steel products maker Wuhan Iron and Steel Co Ltd (SHA:600005), according to sources cited by the Financial Times Deutschland.

ThyssenKrupp, which is undergoing a restructuring aimed at reducing debt, said on 10 August it was in advanced negotiations to dispose of the unit. The group’s chief financial officer Guido Kerkhoff told analysts then that it would not take long until an agreement was reached.

ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks makes laser-welded blanks for the car sector. Based in Germany, the division has a global network of 13 plants in seven countries.

With a 41% share of the global sector market, ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks generates annual revenues of EUR700m (USD878m) and has 900 employees, Reuters said.

ThyssenKrupp plans to sell non-core operations with combined revenues of EUR10bn.
The group has recently signed an agreement to dispose of ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG’s Construction Group to Irish Kingspan Group plc (LON:KGP) as part of efforts to optimise its portfolio, it has said.

In line with the same efforts, the steel giant is also looking into the possibility of selling Berco, its Italian supplier of undercarriages for construction equipment, it said.

Its strategic development programme advanced in the third quarter, with 90% of its planned disposals being completed or signed by the end of that period, ThyssenKrupp said.

The company is present in some 80 countries globally, employing a workforce of 170,000 worldwide.