thyssenkrupp AG
Traded as FWB: TKA, LSE: 0O1C
Industry Conglomerate
Predecessor Thyssen AG, Krupp
Founded May 17, 1842 (1842-05-17)
Headquarters Duisburg and Essen[1] (seats), Essen (operational headquarters), Germany
Area served
Key people
Heinrich Hiesinger[2] (CEO and Chairman of the executive board), Ulrich Lehner (Chairman of the supervisory board)
Products Steel, stainless products, automotive technologies, plant technologies, elevator systems, marine systems, shipbuilding, services
Revenue Increase 42.778 billion (2015)[3]
Decrease €1.050 billion (2015)[3]
Profit Increase €268 million (2015)[3]
Total assets Decrease €35.694 billion (2015)[3]
Total equity Increase €3.307 billion (2015)[3]
Number of employees
155,697 (2015)[4]

ThyssenKrupp AG (stylized for current logo as thyssenkrupp AG) /ˈtɪsɛn.krʊp/ is a European multinational conglomerate corporation based in Duisburg and Essen, Germany. The corporation consists of 670 companies worldwide. While ThyssenKrupp is one of the world's largest steel producers, the company also provides components and systems for the automotive industry, elevators, escalators, material trading and industrial services.[5] As of a 2009 reorganization,[6] it is structured into eight business areas that fall under two major divisions, Materials and Technologies. The Materials division concentrates on carbon steel, stainless steel, and material services while the Technology Division concentrates on elevator, plant and components technology, and marine systems. The company is the result of the 1999 merger of Thyssen AG and Krupp, and now has its operational headquarters in Essen. The largest shareholder is the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation, a major German philanthropic foundation, created by and named in honour of Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, former owner and head of the Krupp company, once the largest company in Europe.[7]

ThyssenKrupp has 5,500 employees and generates €1.6 billion in revenue in Spain, where it mainly manufactures elevators. Italy, where the company produces most of its stainless steel, generates €2.3 billion in revenue. The businesses in those two countries make up 9% of all sales for the company.[8][9]

ThyssenKrupp's products range from machines and industrial services, to steel production and shipbuilding.[10] It also has activities in the sphere of defence.[11]

Construction of the corporate headquarters began in 2007. The first buildings were complete in 2010; the second phase of building was completed in June 2015. Situated in the west of Essen, the corporate campus was designed by Chaix & Morel et associeés (Paris) and JSWD Architekten (Cologne). Their design was selected for construction in an architectural design competition[12] in 2006.


ThyssenKrupp is the result of a merger of two German steel companies, Thyssen AG founded in 1891 under the name Gewerkschaft Deutscher Kaiser and Krupp founded in 1811. As early as the 1980s, the companies began negotiations on a merger and began closely cooperating in some business areas. In 1997, the companies combined their flat steel activities, with a full merger completed in March 1999.[13]

Beginnings (1811–1891)



Wilhelminian period (1892–1917)



Weimar Republic (1918–1933)



Third Reich (1933–1945)



Mergers and acquisitions

Corporate headquarters in Essen.
ThyssenKrupp HQ entrance
A view of the hot dip galvanizing lines at ThyssenKrupp Steel USA in Calvert, Alabama
Former ThyssenKrupp building in downtown Düsseldorf
Stainless steel Buddy Bear in Berlin, manufactured by Shanghai KruppStainless
ThyssenKrupp supporting Simonyi Conference, 2014

During a period of expansion in 1978, Thyssen AG entered the North American automotive industry with the acquisition of Budd's automotive operations,[14] which became the automotive division of Thyssen and operated in North America as Budd Thyssen, later ThyssenKrupp Budd Co. In October 2006 ThyssenKrupp sold ThyssenKrupp Budd's North American body and chassis operations to Martinrea International Inc.[15]

In 1988, ThyssenKrupp acquired German shock absorber manufacturer Bilstein, where it became a division until 2005, where it became a wholly owned subsidiary.[16]

In 1999, Thyssen (one of the companies of the merger to form ThyssenKrupp Elevator) acquired the elevator division of American-based conglomerate Dover Corporation. Four years later ThyssenKrupp acquired the Korean-based Dongyang Elevator.

In 2005 ThyssenKrupp acquired Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) in Kiel from One Equity Partners. ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) is now the most important European group of shipbuilders. In addition to HDW Blohm + Voss in Hamburg, as well as Nordseewerke at Emden, also are subsidiaries of TKMS. One Equity Partners holds 25% of the TKMS shares.

In December 2005 ThyssenKrupp acquired 60% of Atlas Elektronik from BAE Systems, with EADS acquiring the remaining 40%.

In August 2007 ThyssenKrupp Materials North America acquired, a small-quantity distributor of semi-finished metals and plastics based in Seattle, Washington.[17]

In early 2008 ThyssenKrupp Aerospace acquired Apollo Metals and Aviation Metals, both suppliers to aerospace and defence based in Kent, Washington.

In June 2012 ThyssenKrupp sold ThyssenKrupp Waupaca to KPS Capital Partners. ThyssenKrupp Waupaca is tier two supplier to the automotive industry, located in Waupaca, Wisconsin.

In April 2014, ThyssenKrupp announced it was in talks to sell its Swedish maritime defence unit to Saab after failing to agree deals with the Swedish government for a new generation of submarines.[18]

US subsidiaries

On 11 May 2007, ThyssenKrupp AG announced an investment of €3.1 billion (US$4.19 billion) for a project consisting of building new carbon steel and stainless steel processing facilities in southern Alabama that would employ 2,700 people when fully operational. The project, along with a multibillion-dollar greenfield steelmaking facility in Brazil, is a cornerstone of ThyssenKrupp's new global expansion strategy into the North American and NAFTA high-value carbon steel markets. The company announced that the investment was increased to $4.6 billion in 2010. As of the date of the announcement, the investment was the largest private economic development investment in Alabama's history and the largest by a German company in the U.S.[19] The site selection announcement came after several months of competition involving several southeastern sites which was eventually narrowed between a site on the Mississippi River in Convent, Louisiana, and a site on the Tombigbee River, in Calvert, Alabama in north Mobile County, about 40 miles north of Mobile. The site in Alabama was eventually chosen. Groundbreaking on the Calvert facilities was held in November 2007. The carbon steel and stainless steel companies are independent and operate under different management teams. Co-locating both facilities on the same site enabled the company to optimize the investment in infrastructure and in some shared processing.

The carbon steel company, ThyssenKrupp Steel USA, which represented seventy percent of the overall project investment and hiring, consists of a state-of-the-art hot strip mill, cold rolling mill, and four hot dip galvanizing lines. The hot strip mill began operations in July 2010, the cold roll mill in September 2010, and the first of the hot dip galvanizing lines in March 2011. The company projects to be fully operational in late 2011 and employ approximately 1,800 people at that time. ThyssenKrupp Stainless USA projects to employ approximately 900 people when fully operational in late 2012. At full production, ThyssenKrupp Steel USA will have the capacity to produce 4 million metric tons of carbon steel for NAFTA customers in the automotive, construction, appliance, pipe and tube, and service center industries. In July 2011, the carbon steel project was awarded "Best Greenfield Technology" by American Metal Market, considered to be the longest continuously published newspaper in the metals industry.[20] ThyssenKrupp Stainless USA built a cold roll mill and is in the process of building a meltshop.

Additionally, the Alabama State Port Authority invested over $100 million to build a state-of-the-art transloading slab terminal on the southern tip of Pinto Island in Mobile Bay to service the inbound raw material slabs for the upriver carbon steel facility. Raw material slabs shipped to the Alabama facility from ThyssenKrupp CSA are transloaded from Panamax ships at the terminal onto shallow draft barges for transport upriver to the facility. The terminal is equipped with three wide-span gantry cranes with state-of-the-art magnetic lifting gear designed by ThyssenKrupp, and it utilizes RFID technology to read identifiers on each slab and provide up-to-date inventory records that include each slab's location and weight. The same magnetic technology is also used at ThyssenKrupp's Calvert facility. The terminal was necessary to Alabama's award of the project since the Tombigbee River depth and lack of turning basins prohibit deep draft ship navigation to the site in Calvert.[21]

The world steel industry peaked in 2007, just as the company spent $12 billion to build the two most modern mills in the world, in Alabama and Brazil. The worldwide Great Recession started in 2008. Heavy cutbacks in construction combined with sharply lowered demand, and prices fell 40%. ThyssenKrupp lost $11 billion on its two new plants, which sold steel below the cost of production. ThyssenKrupp's stainless steel division, Inoxum, including the stainless portion of the US plant, was sold to Finnish stainless steel company Outokumpu in 2012.[22] Finally in 2013, ThyssenKrupp offered the remaining portion of the plant for sale at under $4 billion.[23]

On February 26, 2014, ThyssenKrupp sold their Calvert carbon steel facility to ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel for $1.55 billion.[24]

In April 2015, ThyssenKrupp announced it would be investing more than €800 million in the North American region by 2020 to take advantage of the economy’s reindustrialization.[25]

Sale of Tailored Blanks

In September 2012 ThyssenKrupp agreed to sell the automotive components manufacturer Tailored Blanks to the China-based Wuhan Iron and Steel Corporation for an undisclosed price.[26] At the time of the agreement Tailored Blanks had annual sales of around 700 million euros and a global market share of about 40 percent in automotive laser-welded blanks.[26]

Products and sales

ThyssenKrupp generates 33% of its consolidated sales in its home market. The rest of the EU (European Union) (28%) and the NAFTA region (21%) are the key trading partners for business and exports outside Germany. ThyssenKrupp companies hold leading positions with their products in numerous international markets. ThyssenKrupp is the world's leading producer of tailored blank steel.[27] Tailored blanks weld steel materials of differing thicknesses.

Business areas

The operations are organized in six business areas:[28]


Price fixing

In November 2006, five elevator manufacturers, including ThyssenKrupp, were found guilty of price fixing by the EU, over nine years,[29] along with competitors Otis Elevator Co., Schindler Group, Kone and Mitsubishi Elevator Europe. A few months later on 21 February 2007, ThyssenKrupp was fined US$629 million (€479 million) by the EU (Otis was fined $295 million).[29] The EU Competition Commission reported that the companies had worked to rig bids for procurement contracts, share markets, and fix prices between at least 1995 and 2004.[29] The Commission reported that the companies "did not contest the facts" found by EU regulators, noting none of the accused requested a hearing to answer the allegations. The fines totaled US$1.3 billion.[29]

In July 2012 the German Bundeskartellamt served fines totalling €124.5million on ThyssenKrupp GfT Gleistechnik GmbH, Essen (€103m), Stahlberg Roensch GmbH, Seevetal, which since 2010 belongs to the Vossloh group (€13m), TSTG Schienen Technik GmbH & Co. KG, Duisburg, a subsidiary of the Voestalpine group (€4.5m) and Voestalpine BWG GmbH & Co. KG, Butzbach, another Voestalpine subsidiary (€4m) for price fixing of steel railway lines and points blades supplied to Deutsche Bahn, the German state railway. According to Andreas Mundt, president of the Bundeskartellamt, "For many years the rail suppliers have guaranteed each other virtually constant shares of Deutsche Bahn's contract volume. The cartel members monitored compliance with the contract volume quotas, assigned each other projects and set protective prices in order to steer the contract award process.” The proceedings had been triggered by an application for leniency filed by the Austrian company Voestalpine AG. Investigations into further companies are ongoing.

Turin plant fire and trial

On 6 December 2007, an accident inside a plant in Turin, Italy caused the death of seven steelworkers. It appears that a damaged manifold burst and showered the workers with flaming coolant oil; they attempted to extinguish the flames with water, but instead caused a flash fire.[30]

The plant was scheduled to be closed in February and was understaffed, but due to a delay in the other plant in Terni, Turin's workers were often forced to perform overtime in the last months.[31] Four days before the accident, another fire took place, without any casualties.[30] The accident happened around 1:30 am, after four hours of overtime.[30] When the workers tried to use nearby extinguishers, they found three out of five depleted.[32] A technician admitted to being instructed by a manager of the company to fill every extinguisher in the factory the day after the accident, in order to mislead investigators.[33] The Italian magistrates are still examining the causes of the fire, with workers describing lax safety measures to investigators. During the investigations, a document was seized from Harald Espenhahn (CEO of the Italian division of ThyssenKrupp). The document stated that the only survivor should be taken to court, because of that person making accusations of ThyssenKrupp in the media. The document also stated that the fire was due to the fact that the workers were "distracted".[34]

CEO Espenhahn has been charged by the State prosecutor of Turin with "voluntary multiple murder with eventual malice" ("omicidio volontario multiplo con dolo eventuale"), while five other managers and executives have been charged with "culpable murder with conscious guilt". All have been also charged with "malicious omission of safety measures".[35] On Friday 15 April 2011, Espenhahn and all the other indictees were pronounced guilty of all charges; Espenhahn has been sentenced to 16 years and 6 months in jail and to a lifelong ban from holding public offices. Prior to the court case, Espenhahn was transferred from Italy and is now believed to reside in Brazil. On 23 February 2013, the Appellate Court changed the sentence for Espenhahn to culpable murder, not recognizing the voluntary murder, thus reducing the conviction. Convictions for the other managers were reduced as well.

In May 2016 the appeal court has reduced the sentences for Espenhahn down to 9 years and 8 months, the other 5 managers (4 Italians and 1 German) between 6 and 7 years.[36] According to the bilateral laws between Germany and Italy, the convicted can serve the term in his home country and with accordance to this countries' laws. Since accounts of first-degree murder have been appealed down to aggravated negligent manslaughter, the German convicts are expecting further drastic reductions that would eventually not exceed 5 years, according to the statement from the defence of Espenbahn and Priegnitz (the other German manager).[36] It's not yet clear if Italy will exercise extrapolation on Espenhahn from Germany.

Families of the victims shouted and left the court in protest saying "Shame". In earlier incidents as Italy's court agreed for appeal the families cried "Sell outs" in the court room. Families victims had to endure 9 years of court processes to hear the final verdicts.

See also



  1. "Press release - Press releases - ThyssenKrupp AG". 3 December 2014.
  2. "Dr.-Ing. Heinrich Hiesinger". 26 August 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "ThyssenKrupp Annual Report 2014-2015" (PDF). Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  5. "Group - FAQ - ThyssenKrupp AG". 13 February 2015.
  6. "Press release - Press releases - ThyssenKrupp AG". 3 December 2014.
  7. "Consolidated statement of financial position - Consolidated Financial Statements - ThyssenKrupp Online Annual Report 2010/2011". 6 December 2011.
  8. Böll, Sven; Hawranek, Dietmar; Hesse, Martin; Jung, Alexander; Neubacher, Alexander; Reiermann, Christian; Sauga, Michael; Schult, Christoph; Seith, Anne; Sultan, Christopher (translator) (June 25, 2012). "Imagining the Unthinkable. The Disastrous Consequences of a Euro Crash". Der Speigel. Archived from the original on June 26, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
  9. "Defence services". ThyssenKrupp Aerospace. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  10. "Innovations & Products". ThyssenKrupp. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  11. "ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems - Naval Ship and Systems Engineering Solutions". Naval Technology. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  12. ThyssenKrupp Quartier Architectural Design Competition, retrieved 9 October 2015
  13. "Krupp - Lead up to the merger with Thyssen". 30 September 2013.
  14. "Internationalization and further vertical diversification - Bonn Republic - ThyssenKrupp AG". 30 September 2013.
  15. "ThyssenKrupp Budd to sell North American automotive body operations".
  16. History of Bilstein shocks
  17. "The Story of".
  18. Mia Shanley & Bjorn Rundstrom (15 April 2014). "ThyssenKrupp in talks to sell Swedish naval shipyard to Saab". Reuters.
  19. "Press release". ThyssenKrupp AG. 3 December 2014.
  20. Wilson, A. J. The Pick and the Pen. London: Mining Journal Books Limited, 1979. ISBN 9780900117169. OCLC 5818544.
  22. "New owners of ThyssenKrupp stainless steel division plan visit in June". Press-Register. May 31, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  23. John W. Miller and Ike Henning, "Thiessen gets offers for mills: Final bids for steel complexes in Alabama, Brazil will likely fall short of the company's hopes", The Wall Street Journal March 1, 2013
  24. "ArcelorMittal, Nippon Steel buy ThyssenKrupp's U.S. factory". Japan Today. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  25. Georgina Prodhan (24 April 2015). "ThyssenKrupp to invest $866 million in North America". Reuters. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  26. 1 2 "ThyssenKrupp to sell Tailored Blanks to WISCO". Reuters. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  27. "Business Areas". 20 November 2014.
  28. 1 2 3 4 "Elevator makers fined $1.3B for price-fixing" (news), - Reed Business Information, Feb. 2007, webpage: Purchcom-8053.
  29. 1 2 3 "Torino, incendio in acciaieria, un operaio morto, sei in fin di vita". (in Italian). 6 December 2007. Retrieved 6 May 2009.
  30. "Quei turni infernali di 12 ore, "E chi rifiutava perdeva il posto"". (in Italian). 8 December 2007. Retrieved 6 May 2009.
  31. "ThyssenKrupp, primi indagati per la strage nell'acciaieria". (in Italian). 8 December 2007. Retrieved 6 May 2009.
  32. (Italian)
  33. La Thyssen contro il sopravvissuto "Lo denunceremo" (Italian)
  34. "Thyssen, a processo i sei imputati, "Fu omicidio volontario"". (in Italian). 17 November 2008. Retrieved 6 May 2009.
  35. 1 2 "Turin: Harte Haftstrafen für Thyssen-Manager". 2016-05-21. Retrieved 2016-11-24.
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