ThyssenKrupp, which announced in May that it was looking at ways to change or divest its stainless steel operations, has taken the first steps—creating a new unit called Inoxum.
Next it will test the economic waters, considering an IPO, a spin-off or a sale. “All options are still open, ” the German company reported on its website.
The move comes in response to an oversupply of stainless, especially in the European market, and rapidly changing costs for raw materials, especially nickel.
Bloomberg quotes analysts saying this is a tough market for an IPO and ThyssenKrupp has pledged to German union members that it will try for a deal that protects their jobs.
ThyssenKrupp has a major stainless steel operation in Calvert, on the Mobile/Washington county line, which is still gearing up toward full production, with a scrap melt shop due to open early next year. Ulrich Albrecht-Freuh, CEO for ThyssenKrupp Stainless USA in Calvert, has been named to one of the top management positions with Inoxum and will continue to be based in Calvert.
By Nedra Bloom