FRANKFURT (July 15, 2008) — Family-owned Schaeffler Group has gained control of 36 percent of Continental A.G.'s stock, according to Handelsblatt, a German commercial economy newspaper.
The publication cited financial sources familiar with the matter.
Under German law, a 30-percent stake in a company obliges the holder to make a full takeover bid.
Schaeffler doesn't plan to make a hostile takeover bid and consequently de-list Continental, the German weekly business magazine WirtschaftsWoche reported on its Web site, citing persons familiar with the matter. The report said Schaeffler only eyes a significant minority stake in Continental, adding that Schaeffler also has no plans to break up the company.
Handelsblatt said Schaeffler accumulated its stake in Conti through stock options bought by a number of banks on its behalf, including Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Bank and Merrill Lynch, to avoid passing disclosure limits.
The newspaper cited sources close to the Continental supervisory board as saying CEO Manfred Wennemer and Chief Financial Officer Alan Hippe are drafting a strategy to fight a takeover.