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ThyssenKrupp Still Angling for a Buyer

Economic crucible melted TK’s U.S. plan.

Economic crucible melted TK’s U.S. plan.

ThyssenKrupp has hired Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to advise it as it seeks buyers or partners for its pair of steel mills at the northern border of Mobile County. When the project was announced just five years ago, its $3 billion price tag made it a candidate for the largest industrial development ever, some said. Before the twin plants were done, the investment jumped to more than $5 billion.

And still before the plants were finished, the bottom dropped out of the economy—stopping construction in its tracks and slamming the door on the steel market. Now the news centers on the German steel maker’s efforts to sell its plants. ThyssenKrupp has already reached a deal with Finnish firm Outokumpu Oyj for the stainless plant.

A Barron’s story in mid-July said that once the steel mills are sold, ThyssenKrupp will be able to focus on service and technology facets of its business and should see a rise in profits, leading to a rise in stock prices.

Meanwhile, Kloeckner USA Holding announced plans for a light-gauge steel processing facility on the ThyssenKrupp site. The $17 million facility, which won $35 million in tax abatements, is expected to employ up to 75 people.

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