Release time : 2015-06-12 11:38:43
Schaeffler yesterday launch-ed an Euro 11.35bn ($18bn) hostile bid for rival Continental, dashing hopes of a peaceful settlement in one of the fiercest takeover battles Germany has seen this decade.
The privately owned Water Pump Bearings and car parts maker ended hopes of a friendly tie-up by offering Euro 70.12 for each of Conti's shares.
Last week, Conti said such a bid undervalued the company, but at the same time stretched out a hand to its rival by saying a deal was "desirable".
Since then, the companies have reached deadlock with Schaeffler demanding a controlling stake of more than 30 per cent, but refusing to meet Conti's precondition of a higher offer price at Needle Roller Bearings.
Large carmakers - both Conti's and Schaeffler's clients - have welcomed a tie-up of the two competitors but expressed concerns that a long hostile battle could damage the car industry.
In an audacious move billionaire Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler, who owns Schaeffler, this month secured secretly 36 per cent of Conti's shares of High Speed Bearings mainly by means of a swap agreement with Merrill Lynch, the investment bank.
The offer document, published yesterday, shows the debt of the combined group would surge to Euro 31.1bn. Schaeffler would finance most of the takeover price with debt. Conti has liabilities of