Elevator proceeds must stay with Thyssenkrupp: steel labor boss

FILE PHOTO: Thyssenkrupp's logo is seen close to the elevator test tower in Rottweil, Germany, September 25, 2017. The 246 metre construction will test innovative elevator technology. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle/File Photo

DUISBURG, Germany (Reuters) - Proceeds from a potential sale of Thyssenkrupp's TKAG.DE elevator division must stay with the group, a leading labor representative said on Thursday, rejecting the idea of a special dividend for shareholders.

“We won’t let that happen,” Tekin Nasikkol, who heads the works council of Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe, told journalists. “The steel unit needs sufficient funds just like the other business areas,” he added.

His remarks come a day after Thyssenkrupp’s supervisory board reviewed first expressions of interest for the division, which some analysts say could be worth up to 17 billion euros ($19 billion).

Thyssenkrupp, in which Swedish activist fund Cevian owns 18%, is looking to list or sell Elevator Technology, which could bring in billions of euros of cash that is needed to pay pensions, cut debt and support its other struggling units.

“If someone like Cevian comes and says ‘we’ll reach into the cash register’ then we’re saying: not with us,” Nasikkol said, adding he expected to clash with Thyssenkrupp management over a planned restructuring of the steel unit.

The turnaround plan, to be presented in late November, could include more job cuts at the steel unit than the 2,000 previously announced. Nasikkol said there would not be any compulsory layoffs.

Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff; writing by Christoph Steitz; editing by Riham Alkousaa and Thomas Escritt