FRANKFURT - German steel and engineering group ThyssenKrupp has ended a 30-year relationship with Iran, appearing to bow to pressure from the US in a move which could lead Tehran to sell its remaining shares.
ThyssenKrupp will not nominate an Iranian representative to its supervisory board to be approved by shareholders in January, according to an invitation to the annual general meeting.
IFIC Holding, the Duesseldorf-based arm of the Iranian Foreign Investment Company that owns 4.5 per cent of ThyssenKrupp, confirmed yesterday it would lose its seat, currently occupied by government minister Mohamad-Mehdi Navab-Motlagh.
"That is the case," said an official. "We are not happy about this. We are still the third largest shareholder and shouldn't be treated differently because of pressure from any third party."
A ThyssenKrupp spokesman declined to comment on the move.
IFIC's stake in ThyssenKrupp dates back to an investment made in steelmaker Krupp in 1974. It is worth about 360 million euros ($478m) at current market prices.