Release time : 2015-06-12 12:01:23
Hostile takeover battles between German companies are rare events. But now a privately owned engineering company from a tiny Franconian town near Nuremberg is on the verge of launching its second takeover this decade for a listed company.
Schaeffler, a producer of industrial bearings and vehicle components, is stepping out of the shadows with a bold ??C and some say overstretching ??C move against Continental, a company almost three times bigger.
Once again J??1rgen Geissinger, Schaeffler???s ambitious chief executive, is reminding corporate Germany that takeovers do not have to be friendly in Europe???s largest economy.
So far, Germany has only seen a handful of aggressive domestic takeover battles, the first and still most spectacular being the successful hostile bid by Krupp for its rival Hoesch in 1991, which was followed several years later by the attack of the newly formed group against the far bigger Thyssen.
It was Mr Geissinger who oversaw Schaeffler???s successful takeover of FAG Kugelfischer, a rival bearings maker, seven years ago in the first domestic takeover battle this decade. The aggressive, American-style acquisition was seen as an affront to normal ways of doing business in Germany.
However, Mr Geissinger has always had strong backing from Mara-Elisabeth Schaeffler, the billionaire widow of the bearing group???s founder, who owns the company together with her son, Georg FW Schaeffler, a lawyer who lives in the US.
FAG was a comparatively small deal, but this time Mr Geissinger seems to envisage a huge leap that would catapult Schaeffler into the same league as Bosch, Germany???s biggest automotive supplier. Schaeffler last year reported revenues of