German industrial group ThyssenKrupp has sold its Tailored Blanks car parts subsidiary to Chinese steel giant Wisco. The divestment is a key part in the German steelmaker's drive to overhaul its business portfolio.
The sell-off of Tailored Blanks to Chinese group Wuhan Iron and Steel Corporation (Wisco) was another step toward "optimizing" ThyssenKrupp's portfolio, the German industrial giant said Friday.
Details about the volume of the deal would not be disclosed, the Dusseldorf-based company added.
Tailored Blanks manufactures ready-to-fit steel sheets for the automobile industry, and employs about 950 people at 13 production sites around the world. Sales amounted to 700 million euros ($905 million) in 2011.
The deal is part of a divestment drive which saw ThyssenKrupp recently shedding US iron foundry Waupaca, as well as its Xervon Industry Services unit, Automotive Systems in Brazil, and its entire civil shipbuilding activities.
According to industry analysts, the deal with Wisco, which is one of the world's biggest steelmakers, brings ThyssenKrupp close to meeting its goal of envisaged divestment earnings to the tune of 10 billion euros.
A rise in second-quarter net profit to 238 million euros was due in large part to the sale of Waupaca, ThyssenKrupp said in August, as it announced a 79 percent drop on operating profit.
On Friday, ThyssenKrupp shares were among the biggest gainers on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, jumping 2.5 percent to 16.81 euros per share.
Analysts said efforts by ThyssenKrupp Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger to reduce the group's huge debt and garner funds for strategic new investments were graudually making progress.
uhe/mz (dpa, Reuters, AFP)