HANOVER, Germany (Oct. 6, 2009)—A United Arab Emirates-based investor group has ended discussions with Continental A.G. and the French government regarding its potential purchase of Conti's passenger and light truck tire plant in Clairoix, France, which Conti plans to close early next year.
Dubai-based MAG Group ended talks after failing to reach an agreement with Conti about purchasing tire technology from the German company, Conti said. MAG approached Conti about the plant in May, a month after Conti notified workers that it intends to shut the 73-year-old plant next year.
“We would have liked to have become involved in the tire manufacturing business as an extension to our value-chain activities, which are strongly focused on the trade sector,” said MAG Vice Chairman Fawaz Sabri in a prepared statement.
“Using the knowledge we have at present, we shall continue to examine this approach. We specifically thank the French government for its commitment and support while we were deliberating on the matter, and we shall keep France in our minds as a key location for future business plans,” he said.
Bernhard Trilken, responsible for Continental's global passenger and light truck tire production, added: “It was not possible to enter into concrete negotiations on the basis of jointly defined framework conditions. The two parties reached the same conclusion and, at that point, agreed to terminate the sales talks.”
The closing will affect 1,120 employees. Conti acquired the plant in the 1970s when it took over Uniroyal-Englebert, the European operations of then-independent tire maker Uniroyal Inc.