ERJ staff report (PMcV - ANE)
Berlin -- German parts maker Schaeffler Group could allow another shareholder to take a large stake in Continental AG, Schaeffler co-owner Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler told those attending the Automobilwoche Congress in Berlin.
Ms. Schaeffler said she does not exclude a strategic investor with a long-term commitment from buying a big stake in Continental amid the current economic conditions.
The economic downturn would not affect SchaefflerÂ´s long-term strategy to bind her company and Continental closer together to create a strong and innovative automotive supplier, she said.
In recent weeks, German media have reported that family-owned Schaeffler may sell as much as 25 percent of Continental to investors to alleviate the financial burden of its takeover of EuropeÂ´s second-largest auto parts manufacturer.
Schaeffler controls more than 90 percent of Continental's stock after agreeing Aug. 21 to buy Continental. At that time it pledged to limit its holdings to less than 50 percent.
Schaeffler faces increasing pressure to fund the takeover after investors tendered 82.4 percent of ContinentalÂ´s capital-more than Schaeffler anticipated.
Last month, Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, citing unidentified bankers, said Schaeffler is talking to financial investors and sovereign wealth funds.
Another option would be to sell Continental's tyre unit, the newspaper reported.
Schaeffler, which is based in Herzogenaurach, denied the plans to the newspaper.
The company owns the auto suppliers INA, LuK and FAG. Last year, Schaeffler had sales of 8.9 billion euros.
From Automotive News Europe (A Crain publication)
Schaeffler says would not exclude investor taking stake in Continental AG AFX via FX STreet (Germany)