Bosch: Not Interested In Schaeffler

World's largest car parts maker by sales said it's not interested in acquiring businesses from Schaeffler, contradicting media reports that it was exploring an investment.

FRANKFURT (AP) -- Germany's Robert Bosch GmbH, the world's largest car parts maker by sales, said Friday it is not interested in acquiring any businesses from counterpart Schaeffler Group KG.

"There are no talks," Bosch spokesman Andreas Kempf said, denying reports in German media that the Stuttgart-based company was exploring an investment in portions of Schaeffler.

Family-owned, Herzogenaurach-based Schaeffler completed a deal worth some euro8 billion ($10 billion) to take control of larger German tire and car parts maker Continental AG at the beginning of this year. The move indebted it heavily just as global car markets were unraveling.

Schaeffler has said it needs financial help from the government to see it through its "massive difficulties" posed by the global economic crisis since the Continental takeover. The government so far has offered no indication that it will help Schaeffler.

Also on Friday, Continental said its supervisory board chairman, Hubertus von Gruenberg, would step down for personal reasons.

Gruenberg had been chairman of the supervisory board -- the equivalent of a U.S. board of directors -- since 1999. Before that, he was Continental's chief executive for eight years.

Deputy chairman Werner Bischoff will lead the board until it chooses a permanent replacement.

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