The President of the Krupp Foundation, Ursula Gather, will welcome the state of North Rhine-Westphalia to join the steel division of thyssenkrupp.
“State participation could be a conceivable option,” she told the Rheinische Post (Saturday edition). The participation of the state is not easy, because the state can enter into a conflict of interest. “On the other hand, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia certainly has a great interest in the necessary decarbonization that does not lead to deindustrialization in the Ruhr region.” thyssenkrupp Steel needs capital to be able to invest in green steel.
She sees the question in good hands with Prime Minister Hendrik Fust (CDU): “The black and green state government is very aware of the problem, and they see the challenges of the Ruhr region. I am very open about Hendrik West when it comes to finding solutions. I can imagine he will consider all possible options” .
Gather welcomes the fact that group CEO Martina Merz has stuck to the separation despite the crisis: despite geopolitical uncertainties, the board’s strategy of making steel independent and turning the group into a conglomerate remains valid. Implementation of the strategy is proceeding according to plan: the stainless steel plant in Italy has been sold and preparations for the IPO of Nucera are progressing. The group is now working on the incidental details of the steel.
On the question of whether shareholders will actually decide on a spin-off at the spring general meeting, Gather said: “I don’t want to speculate about the dates. One thing is clear: Everyone involved wants to go that route and they’ve already taken it.”
Collecting, on the other hand, comes with cash when it comes to profits. “For 2022, like all thyssenkrupp shareholders, we are likely to forego dividends again, this will be the third consecutive year without dividends and the fifth in ten years. Of course, this cannot continue like this,” she said. The foundation is based on the fact that there will be another distribution in 2024 for 2023. In addition, the head of the foundation assumes that thyssenkrupp will soon leave behind burning money. “The group is visible to everyone in the process of stopping the flow of funds.” There are now also positive effects from high rate European Central Bank. This relieves thyssenkrupp somewhat, since the burden of the pension will be less. Because of the gas crisis, the group is already looking for ways to save.
The Krupp Foundation owns 21 percent of thyssenkrupp. Gather has served as Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees since 2013.
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