Continental unable to complete Veyance takeover, report says

Continental unable to complete Veyance takeover, report says

Continental is unable to complete its acquisition of U.S. rubber firm Veyance Technologies and may need to sell one of the target company’s divisions to win U.S. regulatory approval, Germany’s Bilanz magazine reported.

Continental announced the purchase of the maker of industrial hoses and belting for €1.4 billion ($1.75 billion) in February and had been expecting antitrust approval in the fourth quarter.

But U.S. authorities have voiced misgivings about the deal, one of Continental’s biggest to date, as it would create a market-dominating position for Veyance and the German company’s Contitech division, Bilanz said.

Continental declined to comment, adding it still expects to wrap up the Veyance takeover by the end of this year.

Continental is aiming to sell Veyance’s air-spring division and has already found potential bidders for the unit which has annual sales of around €60 million, Bilanz reported, without citing the source of the information.

By taking over Carlyle Group’s Veyance, Continental is seeking to trim reliance on volatile car markets following a six-year auto slump in its core European sales region.

Continental this week reaffirmed that it is on the lookout for further deals, preferably in Asia, although it has no specific targets in mind.

Buoyed by more than €6 billion of liquidity, Continental is looking for deals in the rubber industry and other non-automotive segments.

Continental aims to increase the share of sales it generates with industrial businesses to 40 percent from about 30 percent over time.