A ThyssenKrupp AG (>> ThyssenKrupp AG) spokesman Sunday confirmed the company is in talks with potential investors for its steel plant in Brazil.
"We are certainly in talks with Vale and with all other interested parties," the spokesman said.
He was responding to a report in the weekly wirthschaftswoche published Sunday that said the company has potential buyers for both its Brazil and Alabama steel plants.
The Brazilian mining company Vale SA (VALE) is interested in the assets, the article said, citing Brazilian industry sources.
The head of the Vale group, Murilo Ferreira, met last week with Brazilin President Dilma Rousseff to discuss details of a full takeover of ThyssenKrupp's steel plant as well as the progress on negotiations with ThyssenKrupp, according to the report. Vale already owns a 27% stake in ThyssenKrupp's steel plant, which is near Rio de Janeiro.
Another interested investor is Eike Batista, the article said. Earlier this year, Batista formed a venture with German utility E.ON AG (>> E.ON AG) to build power plants in Brazil.
POSCO (PKX) is interested in acquiring ThyssenKrupp's Alabama steel plant, the article said, without elaborating.
In mid-May, the steelmaker said it was considering selling new steel mills in the U.S. and Brazil, or bringing in partners to improve performance sustainably.
At the time, ThyssenKrupp Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger declined to provide a timeframe for selling the Steel Americas business, citing the complexity of such a transaction. But he said ThyssenKrupp had to act on the operations in Brazil and the U.S., after they had accumulated losses of around EUR500 million in the first six months of the company's business year. In fiscal 2011, the losses had amounted to around EUR1 billion.
Magazine website: http://www.wiwo.de
-Frankfurt Bureau, Dow Jones Newswires; 49-69-29725-500.