BRUSSELS, Belgium — Continental A.G. has received European Union Commission approval to move ahead with its plan to purchase majority control of Slovak Republic-based Matador A.S.´s tire, conveyor belt and rubber machinery operations.
Conti disclosed its plan in April to buy 51-percent control of Matador, which has 4,770 employees and reported sales of $619 million last year. The companies have not disclosed the value of the offer. Conti also stated earlier it intends to expand passenger and light truck tire production at Matador´s factory in Puchov, Slovak Republic, by more than 27 percent to 7 million units a year.
Matador and Conti already are involved in a 76/24 truck tire joint venture at Puchov. The deal would include Matador´s conveyor belt production there and its share of a joint venture tire plant in Omsk, Russia.
"This is an important step toward our goal of forging a stronger link to our extremely successful joint venture partner," said Manfred Wennemer, Conti executive board chairman. "At the same time it enables us to expand our production and operations base in eastern Europe."
Matador CEO Stefan Rosina said the deal opens up opportunities for the firm to develop further automotive business.