Schaeffler: Conti Share Sale ‘Cannot be Ruled Out’
Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler, the joint owner of the ball bearing manufacturer in control of 90 per cent of Continental AG, may sell some of the company’s Conti shares. Schaeffler told journalists at an automotive business conference in Berlin that the financial crisis was hindering her company’s plans to take over Continental AG. “It cannot be ruled out that a long-term orientated investor could take a larger stake in Continental,” the Financial Times quoted Schaeffler as saying.
When Schaeffler made its original 12.1 billion euro bid for Conti in July the company agreed to limit its shareholding to up to half of the company. Financial Times reported that approaches to sovereign wealth funds have been made as a way of off-loading the extra 40 per cent of the company Schaeffler holds.
In an unrelated development on 31 October 2008 Schaeffler announced it had sold has sold its Lacey Manufacturing Inc US subsidiary to Precision Engineered Products Inc., headquartered in Attleboro/Massachusetts. Schaeffler acquired the company back in 2001 as part of the earlier take-over of FAG Kugelfischer AG. In a statement on the matter the company reported that the reason for the sale was because Lacey does not belong to the Schaeffler Group’s core business. The statement described “rolling bearings…plain bearings and linear technology as well as automotive components and systems for engine, gearbox and chassis applications” as the company’s core business. Tyre and rubber products were noticeable by their absence from this definition.