FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Thyssenkrupp has no plans to sell its elevators business, its chief executive told a German newspaper, also saying that a current plan to split the group in two would sufficiently boost its equity and capital base.
Thyssenkrupp is currently preparing a spin-off of its elevators, car parts and plant engineering divisions into a separately listed entity, Thyssenkrupp Industrials, hoping to win shareholder approval for the move in a year’s time.
The remaining businesses - materials trading, shipbuilding, some forging activities and a stake in a planned joint venture with India’s Tata Steel - will be renamed Thyssenkrupp Materials.
“As part of (Thyssenkrupp) Industrials, Elevator can develop and improve its performance much better,” Guido Kerkhoff told Rheinische Post in an interview published on Saturday.
He said elevators, Thyssenkrupp’s most profitable division, would go through a deep restructuring at its Americas business, adding that this would include disentangling activities in North and South America to speed up dealings with customers.
“This will also include personnel changes at the leadership level there,” Kerkhoff said.
He said Thyssenkrupp is still aiming for the planned European joint venture with Tata Steel - currently subject to a European Commission antitrust probe - to get started in early 2019. The Commission is to rule on the tie-up by April 29.
Kerkhoff also said that supervisory board member Hans-Peter Keitel, 71, would step down from his post effective Jan. 28 and would also not take part at the group’s annual general meeting on Feb. 1, leaving one seat on its supervisory board vacant.
Reporting by Christoph Steitz