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News > International
Thyssen bids for Atecs
March 31, 2000: 8:07 a.m. ET

German industrial firm offers $8.4B for Mannesmann auto and engineering arm
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LONDON (CNNfn) - German industrial firm ThyssenKrupp launched an 8.75 billion ($8.36 billion) offer Friday for the automotive and engineering business of Mannesmann, the company now controlled by British mobile-phone operator Vodafone AirTouch.
    ThyssenKrupp made the offer a week after it said it was open to partnership talks about the Mannesmann Atecs unit, which Vodafone had planned to float in June in a deal that analysts had valued at between 9 billion and 11 billion.
    Dusseldorf-based ThyssenKrupp, the product of a 1999 merger between Thyssen AG and Fried. Krupp AG, is seeking to acquire the whole of Atecs, which employs 90,000 staff and had revenue of 12.3 billion last year.
    Mannesmann had already decided to split its core industrial holdings from its fast-growing telecom business before succumbing to a hostile bid from Vodafone in February after an often-bitter four-month battle. The company had been under pressure to unlock more value from its communications operation, which includes Germany's largest cellular network, by separating it from activities such as engineering and making steel tubes.
    graphicVodafone said last week it would consider the ThyssenKrupp offer after it has completed its acquisition of Mannesmann, which European antitrust officials are now reviewing. The EU is expected to deliver a verdict in mid-April. Vodafone said it would consider the offer if it was still on the table after clearance is received, and would take account of other factors than just price.
    The Financial Times newspaper reported Friday that Mannesmann Chief Executive Klaus Esser favored an initial public offering for Atecs over a sale to a rival company, which might make deep cuts in Mannesmann's workforce. But the paper said Vodafone CEO Chris Gent's priority was maximizing the proceeds from the divestment.
    Thyssen announced its offer too late on Friday to prevent Mannesmann from canceling a board meeting called to discuss the Thyssen bid, which had been expected earlier in the day.
    ThyssenKrupp's offer comes a week after Vodafone agreed to merge VDO, Atecs's auto-electronics arm, into a new 50:50 joint venture with Germany's Siemens (FSIE), creating an entity with annual sales of 7 billion. VDO accounted for 28 percent of 1999 sales at Atecs.
    The five businesses that make up Atecs generated about 60 percent of Mannesmann's total sales last year and include Rexroth, a world leader in hydraulic systems, plastics and pipes maker Demag Kraus-Maffei, and the Sachs auto parts unit.
    ThyssenKrupp announced plans in December to float between 25 and 30 percent of its steel business as part of a broad restructuring plan that will see it focus on engineering and shed 20,000 jobs.
    ThyssenKrupp (FTKA) shares rose 1.7 percent to 26.65 Friday, valuing the company at 13.4 billion. Vodafone AirTouch (VOD) shares were 0.4 percent lower at 346 pence. Back to top

  RELATED STORIES

ThyssenKrupp eyes auto buy - Mar. 24, 2000

Siemens, Mannesmann in auto JV - Mar. 20, 2000

Vodafone seals Mannesmann deal - Feb. 04, 2000

Mannesmann speeds split - Nov. 23, 1999

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.