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Thyssenkrupp board backs split, confirms Kerkhoff as CEO

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Thyssenkrupp board backs split, confirms Kerkhoff as CEO
FILE PHOTO: Thyssenkrupp's logo is seen close to the elevator test tower in Rottweil, Germany, September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle/File Photo   -   Copyright  Michaela Rehle(Reuters)
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FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Thyssenkrupp <TKAG.DE> said on Sunday that its supervisory board had unanimously approved plans to split the conglomerate in two, paving the way for the group’s largest restructuring in decades.

Approval for the move, first announced on Thursday, was widely expected after the company’s two largest shareholders – the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach foundation and Cevian – and labour representatives expressed their support.

In addition, Guido Kerkhoff was appointed CEO on a five-year contract, confirming him in a role he had been filling on an acting basis, Thyssenkrupp said.

“Our solution is responsible and equally serves the interests of employees, customers and shareholders. We will now decisively start implementation,” Kerkhoff said in a statement.

Bernhard Pellens, a business school professor, was named as the group’s new supervisory board chairman.

Under the planned new structure, Thyssenkrupp will spin off its capital goods business – elevators, car parts and plant engineering – into a separate listed entity called Thyssenkrupp Industrials.

Materials trading, shipbuilding and the group’s 50 percent stake in a planned joint steel venture with Tata Steel <TISC.NS> will remain part of Thyssenkrupp, which will be renamed Thyssenkrupp Materials.

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Douglas Busvine and Jane Merriman)

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