A huge lift business is up for sale 14 November 2019
MODERN CITIES owe their shape to two 19th-century revolutions in personal transportation. For urban sprawl, blame the car. The skyscrapers that shape many of the world’s most recognisable cityscapes would not exist without fast and safe lifts. Whereas the four biggest carmakers sell two-fifths of road vehicles, liftmakers have the market sewn up far more tightly. The top four firms provide over two-thirds of all lifts (see chart). More concentration may be arriving shortly.
The potential for consolidation comes courtesy of Thyssenkrupp. The struggling German industrial conglomerate needs to raise money as it restructures radically after years of dwindling profits and strategic missteps. Elevator Technology (ET), its lift business, could be worth €15bn-18bn ($17bn-20bn), roughly equivalent to Thyssenkrupp’s market value (including net debt). It plans to sell either a stake in the business or the whole thing.
There are, it appears, plenty of…