Thyssenkrupp closes $20.4 billion elevator unit sale

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Thyssenkrupp (TKAG.DE) said on Friday it had closed the 17.2 billion euro ($20.4 billion) sale of its elevator division, giving the ailing conglomerate a cash lifeline but robbing it of its best asset.

The group agreed in February to sell the division to a consortium led by private equity firms Advent and Cinven [CINV.UL], with Germany’s RAG foundation a co-investor.

“Divesting the elevator business with its more than 50,000 employees was a tough decision that was not easy for anyone but it was indispensable in the interests of the whole group of companies,” Thyssenkrupp Chief Executive Martina Merz said.

“The proceeds in the billions will give us tailwind for the transformation of Thyssenkrupp,” she added.

The group said it would use to the funds to cut debt, develop some of its other businesses, pay for restructuring measures as well as to buy a stake in the elevator unit to secure its pension liabilities.

It also said it had not drawn a 1 billion euro credit line it secured from state lender KfW [KFW.UL] as a precautionary measure in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

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