Release time : 2015-06-12 12:10:25
Schaeffler Group, the family-owned ball-bearing maker that's acquiring Continental AG, bought a fourth batch of stock that it already controls in the car-parts maker in an effort to reduce the cost of the deal.
Schaeffler bought 1.05 million shares yesterday that had been tendered under its 75 euros-per-share takeover bid, the Herzogenaurach, Germany-based company said today in a statement on its Web site. Tendered Continental stock trades separately from the free-float shares and is part of the 90 percent stake now controlled by Schaeffler.
The company, owned by billionaire widow Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler and her son, has bought 4.11 million tendered Continental shares since the offer expired Sept. 16, or about 2.43 percent of the Hanover, Germany-based manufacturer's capital. The average price paid was about 62.44 euros a share, which would amount to a savings of almost 52 million euros ($70 million) versus the price due under the 12.7 billion-euro offer.
"The purchase of the tendered shares is logical and makes financial sense,'' Detlef Sieverdingbeck, a spokesman for Schaeffler, said in an e-mailed response to questions. ``We are acquiring only the tendered shares and not the untendered, freely floating shares. If further purchases make financial sense, we will continue to buy."
Acceptance Exceeds Target
Schaeffler's offer won larger acceptance than the company anticipated, with Continental investors providing 82.4 percent of the stock. The company, which also makes car-transmission parts and bearings for the aerospace industry, initially sought to acquire 30 percent to 50 percent of Continental, Europe's second- largest maker of auto components.
Under the takeover agreement with Continental, Schaeffler pledged to transfer stock in excess of a 49.99 percent holding to banks to be held for sale. Continental's free-float shares traded at 37.70 euros apiece today, valuing the company at 6.37 billion euros, meaning a sale at the current price would yield losses.
Schaeffler said Oct. 7 that it planned to submit the deal to European Union authorities this week for regulatory approval. Schaeffler is required to pay for the tendered shares within eight business days of the takeover's antitrust clearance.