FRANKFURT (Dec. 17, 2008) - Schaeffler plans to oust Continental AG´s Chairman Hubertus von Gruenberg after it gains approval of its planned takeover of the automotive supplier, Handelsblatt newspaper said, citing sources close to Continental´s supervisory board.
Both Continental and Schaeffler declined to comment on the matter.
The news comes after the two companies last week locked horns over Schaeffler´s involvement in Continental´s talks to restructure loans. Schaeffler had asked Continental´s banks to be consulted on planned changes to loan agreements.
Schaeffler´s owner Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler brushed off the tussle, saying that the company was not wrong to contact Continental´s banks since it would soon be a major shareholder.
Schaeffler earlier this year set out to buy Continental, and after a bitter stand-off won the automotive supplier´s backing in August for a partial takeover deal.
The news of a possible ouster of von Gruenberg comes after Schaeffler last said it aimed to appoint four of its own managers to Continental´s supervisory board as soon as possible. The company has so far declined to say whether it would seek to appoint one of its own people as chairman.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said in an article to be published on Thursday that von Gruenberg has fallen out of grace with Schaeffler because he opposed plans by the company to park more than $7.01 billion worth of loans with Continental after the partial takeover.
Reuters contributed to this report.