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Report: Kloeckner confirms interest in ThyssenKrupp's materials services unit

Germany's ThyssenKrupp AG is said to be considering selling its materials trading division as part of a strategic overhaul to be announced in May, Reuters reported March 26, citing a report by German business daily Handelsblatt.

The division accounted for €13.7 billion of the company's sales in 2017.

Meanwhile, a Kloeckner & Co spokesman confirmed the company was still interested in acquiring the ThyssenKrupp division. Kloeckner CEO Gisbert Ruehl said in February that the company would likely need a partner to make a deal.

Kloeckner's 2017 sales came in at €6.14 billion,

Separately, ThyssenKrupp said it has almost completed due diligence on its planned European steel tie-up with Tata Steel Ltd., and a deal is on track for signing in early 2018.

In February, Tata Steel said it expects to complete due diligence and sign definitive agreements by the end of the March quarter.

ThyssenKrupp is under pressure from its second-largest shareholder, Cevian, to divest assets and simplify its structure.

Sources told Handelsblatt that CEO Heinrich Hiesinger may consider boosting the group's industrial divisions with acquisitions as part of its refocusing efforts, with the aim of moving away from steel production and stepping up the output of specialized industrial goods such as elevators, chemical plants and automobile parts.