Thyssenkrupp top shareholder expects decision on steel unit sale soon

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Thyssenkrupp’s top shareholder expects involved stakeholders to soon decide on the future of the German conglomerate’s steel division, its head told a German newspaper.

Thyssenkrupp is looking to divest its steel division and is holding talks with Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky over a sale of up to half of the business, sources told Reuters last week.

“All parties are pursuing the independence of steel,” Ursula Gather, who heads the board of trustees of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation and also sits on Thyssenkrupp’s supervisory board, told Rheinische Post.

“Stalling is certainly not an option for Thyssenkrupp. I can imagine that a decision will be made in the foreseeable future,” she said.

The foundation owns 21% of Thyssenkrupp, a stake currently worth 941 million euros ($988 million).

Gather said it was possible that the charitable foundation would become a shareholder in a separate steel business if there was a guarantee for sustainable dividends.

($1 = 0.9527 euro)

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; editing by Christina Fincher)