Union sets out demands as Thyssenkrupp elevator sale nears endgame

DUESSELDORF/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Any new owner of Thyssenkrupp’s (TKAG.DE) prized elevator unit not only has to provide guarantees for jobs and sites but also commit to co-determination structures and investments to keep the business future-proof, Germany’s largest union told Reuters.

“We want to conclude the negotiations as fast as possible and then sign an agreement with the chosen buyer,” IG Metall’s Knut Giesler, who leads talks on behalf of employees in Thyssenkrupp’s efforts to sell its elevator division, said on Tuesday.

Thyssenkrupp on Monday narrowed the field of bidders for the world’s fourth-largest lift maker and was now focusing on selling a majority or all of its elevator unit to either Blackstone (BX.N), Carlyle (CG.O) and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board or Advent and Cinven [CINV.UL].

“There are two, three things that still need to be ironed out. That’s the task of the next one-and-a-half weeks,” said Giesler, who also serves as deputy chairman of the supervisory board of Thyssenkrupp Elevator Technology.

The sale of Thyssenkrupp Elevator — potentially Europe’s largest private equity deal in 13 years — will be key for the future of the German conglomerate, which has been hit by profit warnings and delayed restructuring steps.

Giesler said as well as securing jobs and sites, any new owner must also make sure that debt repayment — which is part of any private equity deal — will not overly burden the division.

He said the future of Thyssenkrupp Elevator would have to be secured through investments, adding this involved a “decent” triple digit million euro sum a year.

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