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New era at troubled German steelmaker

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012 - 01:23

Dec. 11 - ThyssenKrupp's CEO has sacked three board members after the firm posted a $6 billion net loss for the year and a price fixing scandal tainted its reputation. Joanne Nicholson reports.

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The boss of Germany's biggest steelmaker means business. After a 6 billion dollar loss in 2012 and a price fixing scandal, ThyssenKrupp's chief executive has sacked half the board. (SOUNDBITE) (German) THYSSENKRUPP CEO, HEINRICH HIESINGER, SAYING: "The facts are serious. As a company we have been held under public scrutiny for months because of various compliance offences. We have paid a fine of 103 million euros to the federal cartel office and the story is not over yet. There are further investigations ongoing and you know that clients have asked for compensation." ThyssenKrupp is trying to get some of that compensation back from the sacked employees. It says they were involved in a price fixing scandal that's thought to have cost Germany's national railway company 500 million euros. The firm also blames a massive writedown on its American and Brazilian business for the year's dramatic losses. Steel Americas was supposed to be its foothold in the American market. But it ran into trouble over poor project management, increases in Brazilian wages and a fall in demand for steel. The company is now up for sale but it's worth just 3.9 billion euros - a third of the 12 billion ThyssenKrupp invested in it. Heisinger now aims to focus on engineering and technology, instead of depending on steel. And for the first time in the company's history it's not going to pay dividends to its shareholders.

New era at troubled German steelmaker

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012 - 01:23

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