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Continental strengthens ties with Matador Group

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Continental AG has announced plans to acquire 51% of the Matador Group's rubber and conveyor belt business in a move the German tiremaker says strengthens its ties with the Czech Republic-based company.

"With this move, we are strengthening our tires to our highly successful joint venture partner," says Continental Chairman Manfred Wennemer. (Continental and Matador formed a truck tire production venture in 1998.)

"At the same time we are expanding our operational base in Eastern Europe markets as well as our production capacities for passenger and light truck tires in low-cost countries."

The move will help Continental improve its "market positions" in central and eastern Europe, "and get additional sales opportunities" in Russia, Urkraine and adjacent countries.

Matador achieved sales of 450 million euros in 2006.

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