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Acquisitions

ThyssenKrupp sells steel subsidiary Inoxum

Industrial giant ThyssenKrupp has completed the sale of stainless steel company Inoxum to Finnish competitor Outokumpu. The deal creates a new global steel leader and marks the end of an era for Essen-based ThyssenKrupp.

ThyssenKrupp announced on Friday that it had wrapped up the sale of its stainless steel producer Inoxum to a Finnish competitor.

The deal makes Outokumpu the market leader in the sector, with roughly 40 percent of European market share and around a 12-percent piece of the global pie. The two companies first announced the sale in February, but had been working on the terms to complete it. Investigators from the European Commission ruled in November that the deal would not breach competition laws.

According to calculations from the German Press Agency, the deal is worth some 3.2 billion euros ($4.23 billion) to ThyssenKrupp. The payment is made up of a mixture of cash, credit, 29 percent of Outokumpu's stock and other provisions.

ThyssenKrupp said 1.13 billion euros - made up primarily of the cash installment of the sale - would be put towards its debt-reduction efforts.

CEO Heinrich Hiesinger of ThyssenKrupp, second left, talks to the media besides CEO Mika Seitovirta of Outokumpu, center, at a press conference in Duesseldorf, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012. (Photo via AP/dapd)

The takeover first hit the headlines in February

Inoxum is based in Krefeld, not far from ThyssenKrupp's Essen headquarters. The company employs around 11,800 people worldwide, 6,000 of them in Germany. Outokumpu CEO Mika Seitovirta said earlier in the negotiations that he was seeking synergy savings in the region of 200 million euros through the takeover, with some of this liable to stem from redundancies.

Out with the old

"This is another important step towards successfully developing ThyssenKrupp for the future," the chairman of the ThyssenKrupp board, Heinrich Hiesinger, said on Friday.

Steel was the traditional hallmark product for industrial giant ThyssenKrupp, but the company is seeking to move its focus towards new elevator and engineering businesses instead, after recording two consecutive years of record losses. ThyssenKrupp announced a paper loss of 4.7 billion euros for 2012, though the majority hailed from write-downs on its Steel America unit.

The company also reshuffled its management board in December, discontinuing the contracts of three of its six top bosses.

The Krupp company, which merged with Thyssen in 1999, announced at the German patent office in October 1912 that it was seeking a patent for "the production of materials which display a high resistance to corrosion." At first, Krupp called its creation "Nirosta," a play on the German words for "non-rusting steel," "nicht rostenden Stahl." The Nirosta business later changed its name to Inoxum.

msh/av (dapd, dpa)