ThyssenKrupp Eyes Spinoff of Stainless, Foundry Operations

Germany's ThyssenKrupp AG, one of the world's largest metals producing and distribution companies, has announced plans to divest several properties in North America—possibly including its new stainless mill in Calvert, Ala.

Among many strategic development items released at the company's supervisory board meeting in May were plans to spin off its stainless steel division into a separate company and to sell its ThyssenKrupp Waupaca business.

The company had worldwide sales of $8.5 billion in its stainless business division in 2010. Its activities during the year included the opening of its new stainless production facility in Calvert.

"The supervisory board instructed the executive board to examine all options for the independent continuation of the operations. We are thus widening our strategic options for stainless and increasing its financial independence," says Dr. Heinrich Hiesinger, executive board chairman.

He says the company's decision to create an independent company is consistent with its measures to develop and strengthen its stainless business, including a shift in its European processing operations and the Alabama ramp-up, which is still ongoing.

"The global stainless steel market is a growth market. However, the supplier side above all in Europe and partly in Asia is characterized by overcapacities," Hiesinger says. "Against this backdrop, the stainless market faces a consolidation process for which our decision provides further options. We are giving stainless the opportunity to develop its competitive position with greater flexibility—and also with regard to potential strategic partnerships."

Among other actions, ThyssenKrupp has opted to pursue the sale of its ThyssenKrupp Waupaca operation, a U.S. foundry business. ThyssenKrupp Waupaca produces gray, ductile and compacted graphite iron castings, melting more than 9,500 tons per day. Castings are made using vertical, high-pressure, green sand molding utilizing several different mold sizes to produce castings ranging up to 350 pounds.

The division has six facilities in the U.S., including three in Waupaca, Wis., plus one each in Marinette, Wis., Tell City, Ind., and Etowah Tenn.

Company officials did not respond to MCN’s request for further comment.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017