FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Thyssenkrupp's supervisory board chairman lashed out at activist investors in an interview following the resignation of Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger last week, saying a breakup of the conglomerate was out of the question.
He added that there were no plans to divest the group's elevator unit, its most profitable business. "Crown jewels ... are only sold in times of need. There is no need (at Thyssenkrupp)."
His comments target Cevian and Elliott, two of the company's largest shareholders, which have criticised the steel-to-submarines group performance under Hiesinger.
Hiesinger's resignation, which came only days after he clinched an historic steel joint venture deal with Tata Steel, followed months of mounting shareholder pressure over the company's strategy.
"Much has been done in the public sphere to destabilise the company and him as a person," Lehner said, adding some shareholders were behaving in a way that could be described in part as "psychological terror".
He said that included spreading untrue statements in the public domain and making unjustified demands for management to resign. He did not specify which statements and demands he was referring to.
Cevian was not immediately available for comment. Elliott had no immediate comment.
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Maria Sheahan)
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