ThyssenKrupp’s shareholder, Cevian Capital, highlighted Swedish steelmaker SSAB as the soundest financially viable partner for a potential merger with the ailing German steel producer, according to unnamed sources on July 21.
According to ThyssenKrupp’s website, Cevian Capital, a Swedish-based “active fund” which has more than €13bn in assets under management, has owned anywhere between 14-18% of the group company since September 2019.
In a document prepared by Cevian for ThyssenKrupp management, the Swedish fund stopped short at recommending a scenario in the paper which also reviewed the balance sheets of Salzgitter and TATA Steel Europe as potential partners.
These reports lend credence to rumours late last week from a local steel industry association that unions, state, and federal officials had met with steel industry representatives in Duisburg on Friday to discuss how to save ThyssenKrupp among other topics.
That said, a deal with SSAB would likely face resistance from German unions, who are apparently concerned that a merger with a non-German entity would cause major job losses, instead favouring a “national solution” with a German steelmaker – preferably Salzgitter.