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Report: thyssenkrupp board favors elevators unit sale over IPO

A majority of thyssenkrupp AG's management board is inclined to sell the company's elevators business as a planned IPO would not generate enough funds for the struggling German conglomerate, Reuters reported Dec. 18, citing two people familiar with the matter.

The report noted that the company's weakening balance sheet included €12.4 billion in debt and pension liabilities as of September-end, compared to €10.2 billion a year ago. Thyssenkrupp may reportedly receive bids as high as €17 billion for the unit.

The latest Reuters report comes after thyssenkrupp recently outlined plans to boost the margins at its elevators unit. "That wasn't an IPO pitch, it was a sales pitch," one of the sources said.

The newswire added that the board's shift in approach also raises the possibility for the sale of a majority stake in the business as the company needs cash to revives its other units, including steel and car parts, according to the sources.

Binding bids for the elevators unit are due Jan. 13, 2020, and the supervisory board will hold a meeting shortly after to trim the list of bidders, Reuters added.