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EP Corporate Group has announced its acquisition of a 20% stake in ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe

Daniel Kretinsky’s EP Corporate Group has announced its acquisition of a 20% stake in ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe, with further talks underway to potentially increase their ownership to 50% through a joint venture. Here’s a breakdown of the key points from the announcement:

  1. Acquisition Details: EP Corporate Group, led by Czech energy and media oligarch Daniel Kretinsky, will initially acquire a 20% stake in ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe. The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed, and the deal is expected to close within ThyssenKrupp AG’s current fiscal year.
  2. Strategic Partnership: The acquisition is described as an initial step towards a broader strategic partnership, with plans for a 50:50 joint venture between EP Corporate Group and ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe. Kretinsky sees this partnership as a way to strengthen ThyssenKrupp Steel’s position and create a more resilient business.
  3. Vision for the Future: Miguel Lopez, chairman of the executive board of ThyssenKrupp AG, emphasizes the goal of achieving economic independence and business success for ThyssenKrupp Steel while meeting climate protection requirements. The joint venture aims to create a high-performance, profitable, and future-oriented steel company that accelerates the green transformation of the industry towards CO2 neutrality.
  4. Kretinsky’s Investments: Kretinsky’s EP Corporate Group already has substantial investments in Germany, including the LEAG coal mines and power plants group. The German government is expected to provide payments to support the scaling down of coal activities. The acquisition of ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe aligns with Kretinsky’s broader investment strategy in Europe.
  5. Industry Challenges: The acquisition comes at a time when the European steel industry faces challenges from the energy crisis, geopolitical tensions like the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and competition from Asian rivals. The partnership aims to address these challenges and position ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe for success in the evolving market landscape.
  6. Criticism of EU’s Green Energy Ambitions: Kretinsky has previously criticized the EU’s green energy ambitions in Czech media, where his company Czech Media Invest controls one of the largest publishing houses, Czech News Centre. This perspective adds context to his involvement in the steel industry and his approach to business strategy.

ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe is a significant player in the global steel industry, and this acquisition marks a strategic move by EP Corporate Group to strengthen its position in the sector while contributing to the green transformation of the industry.