German state premier opposes breakup of Thyssenkrupp
The premier of the German state where Thyssenkrupp is based on Thursday backed the company`s chairman in opposing a breakup of the industrial conglomerate following the resignation of CEO Heinrich Hiesinger.
Cevian, Thyssenkrupp`s second-largest shareholder with a 18-percent stake, has demanded a review of all of Thyssenkrupp`s business areas, saying each might thrive better in a different set-up. Fellow investor Elliott has also called for a radical overhaul amid broad discontent over strategy.
"We want long-term development, not short term profits," Armin Laschet, the conservative prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, said after meeting managers and labour leaders in state capital Duesseldorf.
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Laschet`s comments echoed those by Chairman Ulrich Lehner, who was quoted on Wednesday as saying that a break-up of Thyssenkrupp was out of the question.
The Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation, the group`s biggest investor with a 21 percent stake, said this would not happen. Laschet, who sits on the foundation`s board, urged dialogue.
"We have to get back to basics," he said. "We bear a great responsibility."
The Krupp foundation will meet on Friday and Knut Giesler, regional leader of the IG Metall industrial union, said it would be vital for it to back a "sustainable" strategy for Thyssenkrupp.
Hiesinger quit last week after failing to win unanimous board approval for a deal to spin out Thyssenkrupp`s steel business into a joint venture with India`s Tata Steel.
Giesler said he expected a supervisory board subcommittee, which also meets on Friday, to name chief financial officer Guido Kerkhoff as interim CEO until a successor can be found.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)