Schaeffler Offers Continental Olive Branch
As temperatures in the largest takeover in Europe this year rise, Schaeffer Group has welcomed comments from Continental AG’s works committee. Writing to Schaeffler Group owner, Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler, the committee said staff did not like the methods used by Schaeffler to gain a strategic stake in their company: “We have the impression that an investor has slipped in the back door to make a hostile takeover and dismantle the Continental group.”
Schaeffler offered an olive branch inviting the representatives to enter talks in return following earlier withering remarks about the ball-bearing maker’s trustworthiness from Conti supervisory board member, Thorsten Reese. “We simply have no trust [in them],” Reese, who speaks for the company’s middle managers told the DPA agency, adding: “They can promise us heaven and earth.”
“We stand by our commitments,” Schaeffler responded in a statement. “Continental should remain as a whole, including…the tyre business, as an independent, listed company with headquarters in Hanover,” said Dr. Juergen M. Geißinger, CEO of the Schaeffler Group. Schaeffler’s statement comes 12 hours before supervisory board members will meet in Hannover.