IG Metall executive committee board member and treasurer, Jürgen Kerner, called for a solution to Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe’s woes by Christmas, according to an interview with regional newspaper Rheinische Post on Oct 30.
In the interview, Kerner stated that the Thyssenkrupp Group would be unlikely to hold out much longer without external support given that the steel business is haemorrhaging a “few million euros per week”.
Kerner elaborated further by saying the “amount of government entry is derived from the question of how much liquidity the company needs to survive” which “will be significantly more than 25 percent”.
North Rhine-Westphalia’s minister of economic affairs Andreas Pinkwart intends to engage in talks with Liberty Steel over the future of Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe’s operations, according to comments made to Reuters early last week.
Liberty Steel chairman and CEO Sanjeev Gupta has expressed his eagerness to “intensify the dialogue with Thyssenkrupp and engage in further due diligence to present a potential binding offer.”
Rumours have circulated that Sweden’s SSAB could be another potential suitor for the ailing German steelmaker, while others speculate that SSAB might even team up with Tata Steel Europe to rival a Liberty-Thyssenkrupp Steel acquisition.
That said, Kerner dismissed the likelihood of Liberty Steel’s bid saying “the board of directors and the supervisory board will seriously consider [the] offer. But I can’t see the industrial concept or convincing funding”.