ThyssenKrupp to sell Tailored Blanks to WISCO

FRANKFURT Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:12pm IST

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - ThyssenKrupp (TKAG.DE) said it has agreed to sell its Tailored Blanks unit to Chinese peer Wuhan Iron and Steel (WISCO) (600005.SS) as part of its move to shed assets with overall revenues of 10 billion euros ($12.9 billion).

It said on Friday it had now signed or closed sale agreements for about 95 percent of the businesses up for disposal, adding the two parties had agreed not to disclose the sale price for Tailored Blanks.

The disposal adds to a string of deals in which Chinese companies have scooped up German industrial know-how, such as the purchase of machinery manufacturers Schwing and Putzmeister by XCMG and Sany (600031.SS), respectively.

Earlier this week, two people close to the transaction said that a Chinese machinery group is likely to buy German rival KraussMaffei Technologies.

ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks, the market leader in laser-welded blanks for the automotive industry with a market share of about 40 percent, has annual sales of 700 million euros and 950 employees worldwide.

Steelmaking conglomerate Thyssen, whose business stretches from submarines to lifts, is in the throes of a radical restructuring in which it is trying to sell assets to slash debt and refocus the group on its core European business.

It is expected to receive indicative offers for its steel mills in Brazil and the United States on Friday, with companies in the United States, Brazil, China and Korea seen as possible bidders.

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(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

(maria.sheahan@thomsonreuters.com; +49 69 7565 1286; Reuters Messaging: maria.sheahan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)