Schaeffler Pressurised to Reduce Conti Stake
The Reuters news agency has reported tha the German federal state of Lower Saxony wants Schaeffler Group to cut its stake in Continental AG to 10 per cent. At the same time, German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) has reported that the banks that supported Schaeffler Group’s acquisition of Conti are discussing a possible unwinding of the transaction. According to the newspaper, the lenders are discussing a plan to absorb all the Conti stock Schaeffler currently holds. This scenario would reportedly also include diluting the stake held by the banks to less than 50 per cent by virtue of a capital increase. FAZ reported that Continental is to discuss the plan at its supervisory board meeting on 6 March.
Meanwhile Christian Wulff, chief minister of Lower Saxony told the Handelsblatt newspaper: “The owner-family can still play a small role if need be, perhaps with a stake of around 10 per cent.” On the subject of state aid Wulff said: “[It] is possible at the earliest when the company has presented a concept on how synergies of its Continental acquisition could be achieved and how the overall company would look.”