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China Daily Website

ThyssenKrupp sells unit to Wuhan Steel

Updated: 2012-10-12 21:42

German industrial giant ThyssenKrupp AG said it will sell its automotive-steel manufacturing unit Tailored Blanks to Wuhan Iron and Steel Group Co, in a move to restructure its business sectors.

The German company has been working on divesting some of its steel-related businesses to refocus on technology-driven sectors since May 2011. So far, it has finished 95 percent of the transactions in an integration plan.

This is the first time that Wuhan Steel buys a non-resources asset in the overseas market. Industrial insiders said that the company may want to expand its business from the upstream energy market to the downstream market.

The Chinese steelmaker has been making efforts to develop its auto-steel manufacturing business in recent years. Its automotive steel output increased from 100,000 metric tons in 2005 to 2.12 million tons in 2011, becoming the second-largest automotive steel producer in China.

Tailored Blanks makes lightweight steel sheets for the automotive industry, and it accounts for 40 percent of the global market for such products. Annual sales in 2011 were at 700 million euros ($905 million).

The two companies didn't disclose financial details.