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Tyre maker Continental agrees to Schaeffler takeover

After initially saying no and weeks of wrangling, German tyre maker Continental finally said yes on Thursday to a much-sweetened takeover offer by industrial firm Schaeffler.

Tyre maker Continental agrees to Schaeffler takeover
The Continental plant in Hannover. Photo: DPA

But family-owned Schaeffler had to raise its offer to €75 ($111.15) per share from €70.12 previously and has had to pledge not to own more than 49.99 percent in Continental for four years, a statement said.

The new offer values Continental at more than €12 billion, nearly 40 percent more than the value before Schaeffler announced an original bid in July.

Conti said at the time that Schaeffler’s offer was “highly opportunistic, does not come close to the true value of Continental, does not create trust and lacks a convincing strategic rationale.” But after weeks of talks the two firms said Thursday they have struck a deal, creating a firm with yearly sales of €35 billion and 215,000 employees.

“Following the hard work over the last weeks, Continental has come to an acceptable overall concept,” it said. “For its costumers, Continental remains a reliable long-term partner that is extremely well positioned. The Continental employees can continue to rely on the clear focus of our concept for the future which we have developed over

the last years.”

It was not all amicable, however. Continental’s chief executive since 2001 Manfred Wennemer, who fiercely opposed Schaeffler’s takeover, has “asked … to be relieved of his responsibilities” from the end of the month, Conti said.

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Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.

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