Kloeckner & Co not in tie-up talks with Thyssenkrupp - CEO

Credit: REUTERS/THILO SCHMUELGEN

German metals trader Kloeckner & Co is not holding talks with larger rival Thyssenkrupp about a tie-up, its chief executive said on Wednesday, quashing speculation about a future cooperation in the near-term.

Kloeckner CEO doesn't expect any talks soon

No big interest in sector consolidation

Kloeckner shares -1.2%, Thyssenkrupp shares -2%

Adds CEO quote, context, shares

FRANKFURT/DUESSELDORF, Germany, Oct 30 (Reuters) - German metals trader Kloeckner & Co KCOGn.DE is not holding talks with larger rival Thyssenkrupp TKAG.DE about a tie-up, its chief executive said on Wednesday, quashing speculation about a future cooperation in the near-term.

"There are currently no talks," Gisbert Ruehl told journalists during a conference call following third-quarter results. "And we don't expect that there will be a significant change," Ruehl said, adding the group had currently "no big interest" in consolidation.

Ruehl said that Kloeckner & Co was currently more focused on fixing its own operational issues following a recent profit warning, adding it was rather in a wait-and-see mode with regard to Thyssenkrupp's Materials Services division.

A spokesman for Thyssenkrupp declined to comment. Shares in Kloeckner & Co were down 1.2% while Thyssenkrupp's stock was down 2% following the news.

Sources had told Reuters in August that Thyssenkrupp and Kloeckner & Co were in talks over future cooperation in materials trading, but were not working on a near-term takeover.

There has been speculation for years about a tie-up of Kloeckner & Co and Materials Services, which is twice as big as its smaller rival in terms of sales, boosted recently by a larger restructuring plan at Thyssenkrupp.

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Anneli Palmen; Editing by Tassilo Hummel and Thomas Escritt)

((christoph.steitz@thomsonreuters.com; +49 69 7565 1269; Reuters Messaging: christoph.steitz.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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