By Liz White, ERJ staff
Hannover, Germany-Continental AG has taken a further step in the development of its technical rubber goods business ContiTech, by gaining more than 75 percent of the shares of rival rubber parts maker Phoenix AG of Hamburg.
The announcement ends a few days of frenzied media speculation about the success or otherwise of Continental's offer, which has been hanging in the balance while Phoenix shareholders deliberated.
The German tyre and automotive supply group had earlier specified that it would only proceed with its bid to buy Phoenix if it gained three quarters of the shares by 28 June.
Continental said the next step-to start shaping the future of Phoenix-now depends on the outcome of EU antitrust proceedings.
â€œWe are extremely happy that the fair offer we made has been accepted and are confident that no fundamental problems will arise in the antitrust investigation,â€ said Continental chairman Manfred Wennemer, in a company statement
Phoenix shareholders who have not yet offered their shares to Continental can do so until 19 July.
Continental will pay Phoenix shareholders Euros 15 per share as soon as the EU permits the takeover- which at the very latest will be in October, according to the statement.
In 2003, ContiTech reported sales of around Euros 1800 million.
â€œThis addition to the Continental Corporation improves joint competitiveness and long-term development potential. We expect the association of ContiTech and Phoenix to yield synergies of at least Euro 30 million annually,â€ Wennemer commented.