Two suitors for Thyssenkrupp elevator division sign fair owner pledge

DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) – The two consortia bidding for Thyssenkrupp’s (TKAG.DE) 16 billion euro ($17.3 billion) elevator division have signed a fair owner agreement, a key demand by labor union IG Metall to protect jobs, the union and a company spokesman said on Saturday.

The move leaves wide open the race for the asset, potentially Europe’s biggest private equity transaction since 2007.

Two consortia are battling it out: Blackstone (BX.N), Carlyle (CG.O) and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board on one side and Advent and Cinven, supported by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Germany’s RAG foundation, on the other.

Thyssenkrupp’s management board will make a decision about the sale in the coming week, and then inform the supervisory board, the union said.

The supervisory board is scheduled to meet on Feb. 27.

The agreement between labor and the two consortia includes the preservation of collective bargaining agreements and safeguarding the company pension scheme, according to the union.

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