Nordrhein-Westfalen’s (NRW) state minister for economic affairs and energy, Andreas Pinkwart, had a positive “first impression” after an exploratory call with Liberty Steel’s chief executive officer (CEO) Sanjeev Gupta late last week.
In comments made to local media, Pinkwart noted that Gupta presented a well-founded concept guided by the transformation to green steel and advised thyssenkrupp group chairperson and CEO Martina Merz to seriously examine Liberty’s offer.
However, Tekin Nasikkol, the chairman of the steelworks council highlighted the union’s opposition to a Liberty acquisition noting that for the union it was more important to continue operations and develop its locations.
The minister reiterated his skepticism regarding NRW’s state participation as a shareholder, given that the requirements for intervention in a business making billions of euros of losses were so high “that it is practically hardly an option”.
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.