In many ways, German industry is the envy of the world. Ironically, the country’s oldest industrial behemoth has been in dire straits for a decade. Thyssen-Krupp has been through an orgy of mismanagement, and is struggling to recover.
ThyssenKrupp frittered away €9-billion ($11.7-billion) – 110 per cent of its current stock market capitalization – on a blighted investment in steel mills in Brazil and the United States. The company now has €5.3-billion of debt, a burden that limits investment in such flourishing business units as elevator technology and industrial plant construction. There has also been a string of allegations of anti-competitive behaviour and fraud. And the recession does not help.