Conti Buys Controlling Stake in Matador Rubber
Continental AG, Hanover, is set to acquire a 51 per cent stake in the rubber business of Matador Group, Puchov, Slovakia, subject to the approval of antitrust authorities. There has been no official confirmation of the financial details involved, but a possible 150 million euro price-tag has been circulating for some time. Continental plans to integrate Matador into its brand portfolio and invest in expanding annual production from 5.5 to over 7 million passenger car and light truck tyres.
As a result of the deal, the Matador machinery factory in Puchov will be integrated into the machinery factory in Hanover-Stöcken as a second pillar. On top of that, Continental will gain addition research and development capacity.
“With this move we are strengthening our ties to our highly successful joint venture partner. At the same time we are expanding our operational base in Eastern Europe markets as well as our production capacities for PLT in low-cost countries,” said Continental’s Executive Board chairman Manfred Wennemer. Continental (76 per cent) and Matador (24 percent) have cooperated in a truck tyre production joint venture Puchov since 1998. In 2006 Matador Group had 4,770 employees and posted sales of approx. 450 million euros.
“In combining forces and experience, we will improve our market positions in Central and Eastern Europe and get additional sales opportunities in Russia, Ukraine and the Stan States. Especially our position in Russia will be expanded, as we are not only improving our access to the market but getting a production facility in Omsk as well,” Wennemer explained.
“With this strategic alliance we will further improve the quality and volume of Matador tyre production, open new markets and increase the value of the Matador brand. We are, moreover, also strengthening our position in Automotive – our second strategic business. After excellent experiences with our truck tyre joint venture, we are sure that this partnership will be the best solution for the future of Matador and also for our employees,” said Štefan Rosina, CEO of the Matador Rubber Group.
The ContiTech Conveyor Belt Group also stands to benefit from the acquisition. “Adding Matador’s business to ours makes sense strategically,” said Gerhard Lerch, member of Continental’s Executive Board and responsible for the ContiTech division. “The company is very well-positioned in the Eastern Europe.” With a workforce of 160, Matador manufactures a wide range of textile belts in Slovakia. The ContiTech Conveyor Belt Group has eight locations in Chile, China, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, and Mexico. With its approximately 2,700 employees, it posted sales of 379 million in 2006.