World News: Siemens sells VDO Automotive; buys Dade Behring

World News:  Siemens sells VDO Automotive; buys Dade Behring

Munich-based Siemens is signing an agreement with Hanover-based Continental AG to sell its entire stake in Siemens VDO Automotive for €11.4 billion. Siemens has also signed a US$7 billion merger agreement with US-based Dade-Behring.

The Siemens VDO Automotive transaction is the biggest purchase in Continental’s 136-year history, and advances the company to a position in the Top 5 worldwide in this industry.

The supervisory boards of Siemens and Continental have approved the transaction, although the acquisition is subject to the approval of the appropriate antitrust authorities.

Dr Karl-Thomas Neumann, executive board member responsible for Continental’s Automotive Systems division, said that the acquisition will present the following advantages:

  • Pooled expertise in systems technologies like driver-assistance, environment sensors, telematics and electronic brakes will advance the integration of passive and active vehicular safety and set new standards in the areas of traffic management and accident prevention.
  • In co-operation with customers in the automotive industry, the company will be able to exploit its position as an innovator in the area of powertrain systems to achieve crucial headway in meeting the worldwide goal of reducing CO2 emissions.
  • The company’s competence in telematics and infotainment systems as well as instrument panel controls will enable it to create a broader scope of utility value for OE customers and end users.

Continental expects the transaction to close before the end of Q4 2007, and integration to be concluded by end-2009.

Continental stressed that it has no plans to sell ContiTech or its tyre divisions.

Siemens has also signed a merger agreement with Illinois-based clinical laboratory diagnostics company, Dade Behring, in a deal valued at US$7 billion.

Dade Behring’s board of directors will recommend the deal to shareholders, and the transaction is expected to close within three to six months, subject to receipt of regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

The merger will result in Dade Behring becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Siemens.

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