June 20, 2019 / 10:42 AM / 4 months ago

Kloeckner shares surge on report of possible takeover by Thyssenkrupp

BERLIN (Reuters) - Shares in metals trader Kloeckner & Co spiked by almost 14% on Thursday after a German magazine reported that Thyssenkrupp could take over the German metals distributor to boost its trading business.

Guido Kerkhoff, CEO of steel-to-submarines conglomerate Thyssenkrupp, has already had an initial discussion with Gisbert Ruehl, head of Kloeckner, Manager Magazin reported, without citing its sources.

It said when Thyssenkrupp’s depleted coffers are filled again from asset sales or the planned separate listing of its elevator unit, expected to take place in the first half of next year, it could take over Kloeckner.

Shares in Kloeckner & Co were trading 10.4% higher at 1113 GMT, giving it a market valuation of 536 million euros ($606 million), having briefly traded 13.99% higher. Thyssenkrupp shares were up 1.6%.

A Kloeckner & Co spokesman said that Ruehl and Kerkhoff “are in regular contact on a range of topics but we are not aware of any plans for a takeover of Kloeckner & Co by Thyssenkrupp”.

A Thyssenkrupp spokesman declined to comment.

Kloeckner’s Ruehl has repeatedly said that he would be interested in a tie-up with Thyssenkrupp’s trading unit Materials Services, if it were to be sold at some point.

As part of a major strategy shift, Thyssenkrupp last month said that it would consider partnerships for its divisions, including Materials Services, adding it expected to own a majority of that unit in the long-term.

Reporting by Tassilo Hummel, Christoph Steitz and Tom Kaeckenhoff; Writing by Michelle Martin and Ludwig Burger; Editing by Madeline Chambers

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