Germany’s federal minister for economic affairs and energy, Peter Altmaier, pushed back on suggestions that the government could nationalize, or part nationalize Thyssenkrupp, according to comments made on October 6.
The comments come after Juergen Kerner, chief treasurer of Germany’s largest metal workers trade union IG Metall, called on the government to invest in the distressed business given that the steel unit is unable to “make it on its own”.
Altmaier noted that he did not believe that nationalization would be the right response at the moment and would not resolve the sector’s problems of high raw material costs and decimated end-use demand.
However, Kerner said now was the time for Armin Laschet, state premier of Thyssenkrupp’s home state North Rhine-Westphalia, to step forward and take a stance, adding that federal states were shareholders of other companies.
For example, the state of Lower Saxony is a shareholder in Thyssenkrupp rival Salzgitter as well as Volkswagen Group.
Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe has the capacity to produce up to 12mn mt of crude steel per year from its Duisburg facility, which is capable of manufacturing hot strip, precision strip, heavy plate, coated, organic coated, electrical, packaging, and composite steels.