Continental To Break Up Operations

New owner Schaeffler Group KG will divide Continental’s operations into two divisions with tire and rubber plants in northern Germany and auto parts plants in the south.

BERLIN (AP) -- Continental AG said it would divide its operations into two divisions, with tire and rubber plants in northern Germany and auto parts plants in the south, as new owner Schaeffler Group KG continued Sunday to make broad changes to the company.

Schaeffler, which purchased the Hanover-based company in January in a deal worth about euro8 billion ($10.24 billion), gained four seats on Continental's board in a meeting Saturday and put forward attorney Rolf Koerfer as its preferred candidate for chairman after asking the previous chairman, Hubertus von Gruenberg, to resign. Koerfer represented Schaeffler during the purchase process. Von Gruenberg will retain a seat on the board.

Alan Hippe, Continental's chief financial officer, will leave the company for ThyssenKrupp, where he will lead controlling, accounting and financial reports beginning in April, the Duesseldorf-based steel maker said in a statement.

The fusion of the two companies creates one of the world's largest auto parts makers, rivaling the likes of Robert Bosch GmbH.

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