March 17, 2020 / 2:36 PM / 11 days ago

Thyssenkrupp suspends production at German elevator plant

FRANKFURT/DUESSELDORF, Germany, March 17 (Reuters) - T hyssenkrupp has suspended production at its German elevator factory until the end of the month after two employees tested positive for the rapidly-spreading coronavirus, the conglomerate said in an e-mailed statement.

Production at the Neuhausen plant near Stuttgart was halted on March 16 for a period of 14 days, the company said in the statement. Administrative staff have been asked to work from home until April 9, the world’s fourth-largest elevator maker, said.

The firm declined to say how many workers are employed at the site.

The news came as Germany’s Volkswagen, the world’s No.1 carmaker, suspended production at factories across Europe, also blaming the coronavirus pandemic that has hit sales and disrupted supply chains.

Thyssenkrupp last month agreed to sell its elevator division to a private equity consortium of Advent, Cinven and Germany’s RAG foundation for 17.2 billion euros ($18.9 billion) to raise funds and cut debt.

Shares in the stricken conglomerate have since collapsed along with the broader market and are hitting record lows on a daily basis. At 1425 GMT, shares were 5.8% lower, giving the steel-to-submarines group a market valuation of just 2.4 billion euros. ($1 = 0.9098 euros) (Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Tom Kaeckenhoff Editing by Michelle Martin)

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