Schaeffler’s Takeover of Continental Gets EU Approval
The EU Commission has granted approval of the takeover of Continental AG by the Schaeffler Group. According to an official statement released by the company shortly after the approval was granted on Friday 19 December, “the Schaeffler Group will now conclude the takeover without delay.” Schaeffler will pay 75.00 euros per share to the depositary banks of those shareholders who have tendered their shares to Schaeffler, on or around 8 January 8 2009. The depositary banks will then credit these payments to the shareholders’ accounts. According to the company, shares tendered for sale can be traded up until 2 January 2009.
“The takeover of Continental AG is a decision of far-reaching strategic importance for the Schaeffler Group. With Schaeffler and Continental we’re bringing together two excellently positioned German technology leaders. This merger will create one of the most successful global automotive suppliers with outstanding expertise in the high-growth fields of energy efficiency and alternative powertrain systems. It is our target to spearhead the global market,” emphasized Dr. Jürgen M. Geissinger, Schaeffler Group president & CEO.
According to the statement joint teams are to be established as soon as the takeover has been concluded: “Power struggles don’t make any sense now. We want to get down to work. In these difficult times, in the interest of both companies and their employees it is vital to fully concentrate on business matters. The staff at Schaeffler are looking forward to the collaboration,” said Dr. Geissinger.
“We are absolutely convinced that the automotive industry has a positive future and we want to take an active part in shaping this future. Individual mobility will offer huge potential for growth worldwide for many decades to come. In view of ever decreasing resources, the global automotive industry is facing two decisive challenges: It must offer maximum energy efficiency for combustion engines and it needs new resource-saving powertrain technologies that are suitable for large-scale production,” Dr. Geissinger pointed out.
According to Schaeffler the two companies will work together todevelop systems for reduced fuel consumption. Currently Schaeffer is, for instance, developing electric motors and mechanical systems for wheel hub engines of the future. While this particular project provides obvious scope for Conti’s tyre operation, Schaeffler’s EU approval statement once again neglected to directly comment on the future of Continental’s so-called rubber unit.