Thyssenkrupp will receive first bids for its elevator division this week, as major stakeholders differ over whether the conglomerate should sell a majority stake in its most profitable asset.
The elevator business could command a price tag of €15-€17bn, including debt, based on estimates from analysts and financial sources. This compares with Thyssenkrupp’s current market capitalisation of about €8.6bn.
Finnish rival Kone is due to submit an indicative bid for Elevator Technology by 8 November, in consortium with private equity firm CVC, which is ready to buy assets that may have to be divested for antitrust reasons. If the bid was successful Kone would realise its ambition of becoming the world’s largest elevator maker.
Cevian, Thyssenkrupp’s second largest shareholder, with a seat on Thyssenkrupp’s supervisory board, has argued that selling a majority stake would get a higher price tag for the business and bigger proceeds.
Cevian says: “We support the professional dual track process initiated by management and aimed at identifying the most attractive commercial solution for the elevator division.”
Thyssenkrupp management and trade unions prefer the sale of a minority stake in the elevator business as a way to retain its cashflow needed to finance €13.4bn (US$14.9bn) in net debt and pension obligations.
Thyssenkrupp says that it is proceeding with preparations for a partial listing of the elevator business while also reviewing bids from potentially interested parties, which sources said also included a joint bid by Blackstone and Carlyle.