July 31, 2019 / 11:41 AM / 23 days ago

Kloeckner & Co could play role in Thyssenkrupp restructuring - CEO

FILE PHOTO: Gisbert Ruehl, CEO of German steel distributor Kloeckner & Co SE, speaks on stage during a steelmaker industries conference at a hotel in Duesseldorf, Germany February 16, 2016. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German steel distributor Kloeckner & Co (KCOGn.DE) is open to playing a role in the consolidation of Thyssenkrupp’s materials trading division, including taking a minority stake, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

Thyssenkrupp in May unveiled a major restructuring, effectively looking for partners for its business divisions, including Materials Services where it could sell a minority stake to a strategic partner.

“We will always look at proposals,” Gisbert Ruehl told journalists after presenting second-quarter results, adding that nothing could be ruled out.

He still said that Kloeckner was no longer pursuing an acquisition of Thyssenkrupp Materials Services after Thyssenkrupp said in May it expected to keep a majority of the unit in the long-term.

Ruehl said he regularly meets Thyssenkrupp boss Guido Kerkhoff, but cautioned that investors should not read too much into that. Germany’s Manager Magazin in June reported that both had held talks about a potential purchase of Kloeckner by Thyssenkrupp.

Due to its stretched balance sheet, Thyssenkrupp would have to rely on fresh funds - possibly from a planned listing or sale of its prized elevator unit - to fund a takeover of Kloeckner, which has a market capitalisation of 445 million euros (£407.62 million).

Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Michelle Martin

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