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Jan 18, 2013

Thyssen chairman admits to mistakes but won’t quit

BOCHUM, Germany, Jan 18 (Reuters) – ThyssenKrupp AG
Chairman Gerhard Cromme admitted on Friday to making
mistakes that contributed to massive losses at the German
steelmaker, but didn’t bow to pressure from some shareholders to
step down.

“If you ask me whether we as a supervisory board could have
done things better in the past, then my honest answer is ‘yes,
we trusted too long, we could have acted sooner’,” he told the
company’s annual shareholders’ meeting on Friday.

Jan 16, 2013

ThyssenKrupp set for lively shareholder meeting after losses

FRANKFURT, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Some ThyssenKrupp AG
investors have seized on big losses and scandals to call for the
German steelmaker’s chairman to step down but he has the backing
of the biggest shareholder.

Friday’s annual general meeting is expected to be lively
after news headlines involving a botched multi-billion euro
project in the Americas, lavish junkets for journalists and a
cartel fixing the price of rail tracks.

Jan 15, 2013

E.ON, GDF unload Slovakia’s SPP to regional player EPH

FRANKFURT/PRAGUE, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Czech energy company
EPH will buy a 49 percent stake in Slovak gas utility SPP from
Germany’s E.ON and France’s GDF Suez for a
total of 2.6 billion euros ($3.5 billion), pushing ahead in a
multi-billion acquisition strategy.

The deal, whose price tag was announced by E.ON and GDF on
Tuesday and which should be finalised in the coming weeks, is in
line with the western energy companies’ divestment plans and
marks a major step for EPH, which has been looking to expand in
the Czech, Slovak and German markets.

Dec 20, 2012

Deutsche Telekom CEO to resign, finance chief to take over

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Deutsche Telekom Chief Executive Rene Obermann will step down at the end of next year and be succeeded at the helm of Germany’s former state telecoms monopoly by finance director Timotheus Hoettges.

Hoettges, 50, said on Thursday he was not planning major changes to strategy and would continue Obermann’s drive of investing in the United States and Germany as the firm battles to return to revenue growth against a tough economic backdrop.

Dec 20, 2012

Deutsche Telekom finance head to become CEO at end 2013

FRANKFURT, Dec 20 (Reuters) – Deutsche Telekom
Chief Executive Rene Obermann will step down at the end of next
year and be succeeded at the helm of Germany’s former state
telecoms monopoly by finance director Timotheus Hoettges.

Hoettges, 50, said on Thursday he was not planning major
changes to strategy and would continue Obermann’s drive of
investing in the United States and Germany as the firm battles
to return to revenue growth against a tough economic backdrop.

Dec 19, 2012

Merck KGaA, Oncothyreon hit as cancer vaccine fails

FRANKFURT, Dec 19 (Reuters) – An experimental lung cancer
vaccine from Germany’s Merck KGaA failed to improve
survival in a pivotal study, dealing a blow to the company and
the high-risk field of using vaccines to fight tumours.

Stimuvax, which Merck licensed from U.S. biotech firm
Oncothyreon, failed to increase overall survival in the
Phase III clinical trial, the German chemicals and
pharmaceuticals group said on Wednesday.

Dec 18, 2012

Etihad buying majority of Air Berlin loyalty program

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Gulf carrier Etihad is buying a 70 percent stake in Air Berlin’s (AB1.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) frequent-flyer program, injecting cash into the loss-making German airline as it struggles to return to profit.

Germany’s No.2 airline after Lufthansa (LHAG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Tuesday it expected cash proceeds of 184.4 million euros ($242.7 million) from the sale of the ‘topbonus’ program – more than the whole company’s market value.

Dec 11, 2012

ThyssenKrupp CEO pledges new era at troubled steelmaker

ESSEN, Germany (Reuters) – ThyssenKrupp (TKAG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger vowed to fix problems at Germany’s biggest steelmaker after a disastrous overseas foray and corruption allegations led him to axe half his management board.

“It is obvious that a great deal has gone wrong in the past,” he told journalists at a news conference on Tuesday, the day after Thyssen reported a 4.7 billion euro ($6.08 billion) annual loss mainly due to writedowns on steel mills in the United States and Brazil.

Dec 7, 2012

No quick dividend seen for Siemens’ Osram listing

FRANKFURT, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Siemens says
shareholders should not expect any immediate dividend from
lighting unit Osram after its planned spin-off next year due to
the costs of restructuring.

The loss for the fiscal year ending September 2013 will be
smaller, however, than the 378 million euros ($489 million)
booked a year earlier, according to a spin-off prospectus
published on Siemens’ website on Friday.

Nov 30, 2012

Osram to cut 4,700 jobs after spin-off from Siemens

FRANKFURT, Nov 30 (Reuters) – German lightbulb maker Osram
will cut another 4,700 jobs, or 12 percent of its workforce, and
sell factories to compete with Asian rivals after being spun off
from parent company Siemens.

Osram, which has annual sales of about 5 billion euros ($6.5
billion), said on Friday it wanted to save 1 billion over three
years, with half the savings coming from procurement.