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Conti offers to buy rubber components manufacturer

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Continental AG is launching a public tender offer in an attempt to acquire rubber automotive component manufacturer Phoenix AG.

Phoenix specializes in vibration control, insulation, air spring and fluid handling systems.

Its 2002 sales totaled 1.1 billion euros.

"Continental AG views the proposed takeover as a significant step in its strategy of further developing its ContiTech division," say Continental officials.

ContiTech's annual sales are approximately 1.8 billion euros.

Combined, the companies are expected to generate 30 billion euros in revenue per year, according to Continental CEO Manfred Wennemer.

Continental officials report that major Phoenix shareholders already have agreed to sell, including Claas E. Daun, chairman of the company's supervisory board (22.2% of Phoenix's stock), and WestLB (14.8% stock).

Continental, the parent company of Continental Tire North America Inc., is offering 15 euros per share for all outstanding shares.

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