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Friday, January 27, 2012

Thyssen to decide on stainless next week - sources

Fri Jan 27, 2012

* ThyssenKrupp board to meet on Tuesday - source
* ThyssenKrupp aims to divest majority stake - source
* Shares fall 1 percent (Adds second source, background, share price)

DUESSELDORF, Germany/FRANKFURT, Jan 27 (Reuters) - German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp's supervisory board is to decide on a possible sale of its stainless steel unit to Finnish group Outokumpu in an extraordinary meeting next week, two people familiar with the negotiations said.

One of the people told Reuters on Friday the meeting was due to take place on Tuesday, the day before Outokumpu publishes full-year 2011 financial results.

"Negotiations with Outokumpu and labour representatives are ongoing," a spokesman for ThyssenKrupp said, adding an agreement with the labour side was needed before any supervisory board meeting could take place.

Hannu Hautala, Executive Vice President - General Stainless of Outokumpu, said: "We are currently in the process of examining the situation and the schedule is still wide open, so I can't give any comment."

ThyssenKrupp shares were down 1 percent at 21.92 euros by 0854 GMT, underperforming the German blue-chip index, which was down 0.2 percent.

ThyssenKrupp and Outokumpu said this week they were in early talks over a stainless steel tie-up, moving towards the long-awaited consolidation of a sector that has struggled to battle overcapacity and cheap Chinese imports.

ThyssenKrupp, a steelmaking conglomerate whose business stretches from submarines to lifts, is in the throes of a radical restructuring that will see it shed non-core assets with revenues of 10 billion euros ($13.2 billion) to slash debt.

The sale of all or part of Thyssen's stainless steel unit, renamed Inoxum, would mark a key step forward in the slimming down of Germany's largest steelmaker.

It would also provide a welcome piece of good news for its shareholders still reeling from cost overruns that pushed the company into the red last year.

The second source said on Friday that ThyssenKrupp aimed to divest a majority stake in Inoxum. ($1 = 0.7601 euros)

(sourced Reuters)

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