ThyssenKrupp AG has signed an agreement with Wuhan Iron and Steel Corporation (WISCO) for the sale of for its subsidiary ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks, which produces tailored steel blanks for the automotive industry. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. The sale is subject to approval by the supervisory bodies and the responsible regulatory authorities. It is a further step in the optimisation of the portfolio, which the Group announced on May 13, 2011 in connection with its strategic development programme. As part of the portfolio optimization, the Group is divesting businesses for which there are stronger alternative strategic options. ThyssenKrupp is proceeding fully according to plan, and sale agreements have already been signed or closed for around 95 % of the business activities up for disposal.
ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks is an important supplier of body systems to the auto industry. Tailored products are made of individual sheets of different steel grade, thickness or finish, joined together by laser welding. The blanks are designed from the outset to meet the stresses in the parts in which they will be used. This results in significant weight and cost savings, for example in the production of body parts.
Headquartered in Duisburg, Germany, the global ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks group has been producing tailored blanks since 1985 and is the leading supplier in this segment with a roughly 40 % global market share. The company has 13 plants in Germany, Sweden, Italy, Turkey, the USA, Mexico and China. It employs around 950 people and last year produced some 58 million parts for automotive OEMs. Sales in the 2010/2011 fiscal year were approximately €700 million.
Wuhan Iron and Steel Corporation (WISCO) started production in 1958, making it one of China's longest-standing steel producers. The internationally successful and fast-growing group headquartered in Wuhan has more than 80,000 employees and a capacity of around 40 million t. In 2011, WISCO achieved a turnover of around €26 billion, produced nearly 34 million t and was China's fourth biggest steel producer. It has subsidiaries and sales offices in over ten countries, and is ranked 321 in the Fortune 500 ranking in 2012.