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Thyssenkrupp Plans to Restructure

German industrial giant Thyssenkrupp AG confirms it plans a major reorganization that could include selling part of its automotive components unit.
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German industrial conglomerate Thyssenkrupp AG confirms it plans a major reorganization that could include selling part of its automotive components unit.

Interim CEO Martina Merz tells employees that “significant job cuts” are needed to improve the company’s performance, Reuters reports. These would be in addition to previously announced plans to shed about 6,000 of ThyssenKrupp​​​​​​’s 162,000 global workforce.

Merz says the company also is considering selling majority stakes in its struggling Components Technology and Industrial Solutions divisions, which are being renamed Automotive Technology and Plant Technology, respectively. The automotive unit, which makes engine, drivetrain and suspension components, has faced increasing competitive pressures as industry sales slump.

Last month Merz agreed to temporarily step down as chair of ThyssenKrupp’s supervisory board to become CEO for the next year. She succeeds Guido Kerkhoff, who was ousted for his methodical and unfocused turnaround efforts.

Merz says she will detail the reorganization next month and reveal layoff plans in early 2020. The turnaround effort was prompted in part when activist fund Elliott Management Corp. acquired less than 3% of ThyssenKrupp in early 2018.

Through June 30, the first nine months of its current fiscal year, ThyssenKrupp’s sales increased 1% to €31.2 billion ($34.2 billion). But the company lost €170 million ($187 million) during the period.

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