FRANKFURT Dec 2 Shares in ThyssenKrupp
plunged in early Monday trading after the company
announced over the weekend the sale of its U.S. steel plant, a
deal to take back stainless steel assets it sold last year and
plans for a capital increase.
The stock was down 6.2 percent at 18.075 euros by 0830 GMT,
underperforming a 0.1 percent lower blue-chip DAX index
and reflecting disappointment that ThyssenKrupp, Germany's
biggest steelmaker, failed to reduce its exposure to the
volatile steel sector as much as hoped.
"We think a broader restructuring is much further away than
some may hope," Credit Suisse analyst Michael Shillaker said.
ThyssenKrupp said late on Friday it was selling the U.S.
plant in Calvert, Alabama, to ArcelorMittal and Nippon
Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp for $1.55 billion, hitting
only the lower end of price expectations.
That also leaves it with loss-making Brazilian steel mill
CSA, which it had initially hoped to sell as well, and
management indicated ThyssenKrupp would now hang on to CSA for
ThyssenKrupp Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger has been
trying to shed assets with 10 billion euros ($13.6 billion) of
annual revenue to shift ThyssenKrupp away from the volatile
steel business into higher-margin products and services such as
elevators, submarines and factory components.
He tried for a year and a half to sell Steel Americas -
comprised of the steel finishing plant in Calvert and CSA in
Brazil - but negotiations turned out to be extremely difficult.
"Although TK Steel USA was sold, the big coup that was hoped
for did not materialise," DZ Bank analyst Dirk Schlamp said.
Also, ThyssenKrupp said late on Friday it was forced to take
back Italian steel plant Terni and high-performance alloy unit
VDM, parts of the stainless steel business it sold to Finland's
Outokumpu last year, in exchange for a loan note.
"We doubt that greater operational control over troubled
stainless assets is what ThyssenKrupp shareholders had in mind
for ThyssenKrupp's strategic shift in 2013/14," Nomura analyst
Neil Sampat said, cutting his recommendation on the stock to
"reduce" from "neutral".
And to alleviate the strain on its balance sheet,
ThyssenKrupp is planning to increase its capital by as much as
10 percent in a sale of new shares, which could raise close to 1
billion euros at Friday's closing price.
($1 = 0.7345 euros)
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Additional reporting by Tom
Kaeckenhoff; Editing by Mark Potter)