ThyssenKrupp considers share sale but not imminent -sources

DUESSELDORF Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:35am EDT

DUESSELDORF Aug 10 (Reuters) - ThyssenKrupp has begun sounding out investors on a capital increase planned for the autumn, financial sources said, but the German steelmaker said it would have to reach a deal to sell its operations in the Americas before making any decision.

Earlier the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported that ThyssenKrupp, which is due to report third-quarter results on Tuesday, was poised to sell up to 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in new shares. It cited company sources and political sources in the Ruhr region.

The newspaper said the sale would take place in September at the very latest, possibly even in August.

A spokesman for ThyssenKrupp said, however, that any decision to bolster its balance sheet would be taken only after the company clinches a sale of Steel Americas, its troubled steel operations in Brazil and the U.S. state of Alabama.

Several financial sources confirmed that enticing investors to buy into a capital hike before the sale of that business made no sense.

"A capital hike before the sale of the steel operations is unlikely. That would mean a very deep discount," one of the sources said.

ThyssenKrupp currently is in advanced talks with a preferred bidder, who the sources identify as Brazilian steelmaker CSN . It said in May it expected to reach an agreement "promptly".

But two sources familiar with the situation said late last month that the steelmaker was unlikely to meet its end-September deadline for selling Steel Americas, and the financial sources confirmed at the weekend that the sale still appeared far from imminent.

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