FAIRLAWN, Ohio—ContiTech A.G. wasted little time establishing its presence in North America following the completion of its acquisition of Veyance Technologies Inc.
Four days after Hanover, Germany-based Continental A.G., parent of ContiTech, received final regulatory approval to buy Veyance for $1.58 billion from the Carlyle Group—the largest ever acquisition of a non-tire rubber product company—ContiTech began making its first key moves.
Among them are:
• Selection of Veyance's complex in Fairlawn as ContiTech's North American headquarters, which now will include some merged ContiTech/Veyance units;
• Naming Charles Seymour, previously Veyance's vice president and general manager for North America, CEO of the firm's combined North American operation and the head of its conveyor belting business in the region;
• Folding the Veyance's name to ContiTech, although Veyance will be retained for some legal purposes; and
• Setting the stage to eliminate the use of Goodyear Engineered Products soon as the brand name for Veyance's products.
In addition, Veyance CEO John Hamilton has elected to resign and leave the business, said Heinz-Gerhard Wente, a member of Continental's executive board and CEO of ContiTech. Hamilton let ContiTech know of his decision early in the process, Wente said.
ContiTech and Continental finalized the purchase of Veyance on Jan. 29. The planned acquisition was announced last February but couldn't be closed until the company received antitrust and regulatory approval from several nations.
The approvals came with two major provisions: the U.S. and Mexico said ContiTech must divest the Veyance air springs operation in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, while Brazil ruled it had to sell Veyance's steel cord production business in Sao Paulo. Other nations granted approvals in 2014.
“For the entire transaction, it's not a big problem,” Wente said. “But if you see it in specific areas, for sure we would have wished there was another solution. But we have to accept it as it is and try to do now the very best for the business and for the people involved.”