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New Continental chairman appointed to complete Schaeffler reshuffle

Wolfgang Reitzle has been appointed the new chairman of the Supervisory Board at Continental AG, the car parts manufacturer taken over last year by family-owned Schaeffler KG.

"With this strong team of managers we are in an excellent position to meet the challenges Continental AG now faces," said Marie-Elizabeth Schaeffler, head of the Schaeffler family and Continental board member, in a statement released yesterday.

"The great potential that lies in the merger of Continental and Schaeffler can now be made a reality with the experience and reputation of Dr Wolfgang Reitzle as chairman of the Supervisory Board and the operational know how of the Executive Management Board under the leadership of Dr Elmar Degenhart," she said.

Reitzle's appointment finalises the managerial reshuffle instigated by Schaeffler in August that saw Continental's CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann replaced by the Schaeffler family's candidate Elmar Degenhart. (Click here to read our coverage of the story)

As a compromise for Degenhart's appointment, Rolf Koerfer, a Schaeffler supporter, stepped down from his position as chairman of the board in order to find a more neutral candidate acceptable to both Schaeffler and Continental.

Schaeffler instigated an unsolicited takeover of Continental in July 2008, which saw it take control of 49.9% of Continental's voting shares. (Click here to read our coverage of the takeover) However, the family's holdings have since been diluted by a capital increase in July instigated by Neumann.

Schaeffler, a €9 billion business specialising in ball bearings, is owned by Marie-Elizabeth Schaeffler (pictured), wife of one of the founders, and her son (pictured).

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