The deadlock in the Schaeffler-Continental takeover battle has been broken with the family-owned company making a €11.35 billion hostile bid for its larger rival.
Schaeffler, which is owned by Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler (pictured) - the wife of one of the founders - and her son, announced it is offering Continental shareholders €70.12 per share in cash, which includes a 29.95% premium on the closing stock price. In attempting to force a rapid agreement, it has set a deadline of 27 August for acceptance.
"We offer a fair price that is attractive for the shareholders of Continental. Now we should leave it to the shareholders to evaluate our offer and make a decision", said Dr Juergen M Geissinger, president and CEO of the Schaeffler Group.
Schaeffler is seeking to acquire a strategic shareholding of more than 30% in Continental, but says a purely financial investment does not meet its objectives as it wishes to provide "even better solutions for the major technological challenges such as the energy-efficient automobile of the future."
While Continental rejected Schaeffler's original offer of €69.37 per share saying it was too low, its management has said a deal would nevertheless be "desirable".
Schaeffler has reiterated its desire to continue Continental's existing strategy and management team; keep it as an independent company; not cause a break up of or sell off the tire business; and continue its listing on the stock exchange.