"Creating perspectives - continuing the transformation"
Before tomorrow's Annual General Meeting, CEO Martina Merz shares the key aspects of her speech in advance.
Ms. Merz, this year's Annual General Meeting will take place tomorrow. Will there be any news?
Martina Merz : Sure. Our shareholders rightly want to know what the way forward looks like - towards a profitable, dividend-bearing company with secure jobs. In other words: we want to create perspectives and continue to shape the transformation. We have to regain trust. In my speech I will explain the strategic realignment of thyssenkrupp to the shareholders.
We can now be a little more specific on certain topics. For example, we are currently evaluating the offers we have received for Elevator. Regardless of which path we ultimately decide on - IPO, partial sale or complete sale - all these options will generate billions of euros in capital for thyssenkrupp. We are gaining financial leeway again, giving the remaining businesses the chance to actually develop.
Whatever we decide on ET: We will provide a fresh start for a then solidly positioned thyssenkrupp. We have to gain room to maneuver. Getting out of the shallow water, getting more room to move again, that's what it's all about.
You will probably also mention Steel as well?
Martina Merz: We are in the process of making our Steel business competitive. Strategy 2030 is on the way. To this end, we are in talks with the Steel Executive Board and co-determination. But I would like to look a little further ahead. Steel has a future. The climate debate is actually a great opportunity for us here. Because if we succeed in exploiting our technological pioneering role and supplying steel produced in a climate-friendly way, we will have a massive competitive advantage. This path to the "green steel ecosystem" will cost billions. We are aware of this and no company can achieve it alone. When it comes to the hydrogen infrastructure and suitable framework conditions, alliances and partnerships with politics are essential.
This also applies to alliances with competitors when it comes to using funds efficiently or finding a way out of the restructuring spiral of recent years. This is why the idea of consolidating the industry remains the right one from our point of view. Alliances can offer added value. And that is why we are open to talks.
There has also recently been speculation about plant engineering. Will you say something about this?
Martina Merz: We had already announced that we were considering selling our plant engineering businesses or considering alliances or partnerships. We already held initial exploratory talks last year. Now we have started the formal process customary in such cases and are sending out information materials to potential interested parties. But it is too early to make a decision. At the same time, it is also clear that we are working hard to make plant engineering more competitive. The lesson we have learned from the steel joint venture we were aiming for is that you should never rely on just one option too early.
?Will there also be news on the future positioning of thyssenkrupp?
Martina Merz: The image of thyssenkrupp will change. Away from the Company Group concept, towards a group of companies, which on the one hand will be given more independence and responsibility and on the other hand can develop further under the umbrella of the strong thyssenkrupp brand.
It is of minor importance to us whether we run businesses as sole owners or together with partners. The decisive factor for us is what really helps the businesses to develop.
What will continue to unite us in the future are shared values, pride in the company's great tradition - held together by a strong international thyssenkrupp brand which stands for "engineering.tomorrow.together”. This is a competitive advantage that we should not underestimate. Others envy us for it.