The proposed merger of three major German automotive businesses may be complete by October.
Robert Bosch GmbH and Siemens AG's joint E9.2 billion bid for the Atecs Mannesmann automotive and engineering subsidiary of Mannesmann AG is under review by European Commission regulators, said John Sanderson, vice president for Siemens Automotive in Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA.
US antitrust officials will also examine the deal. Officials at the involved companies are hoping for regulatory clearance sometime in September, Sanderson said.
Given the market share strength of the involved players, the resulting 50-50 joint venture will be structured to meet requirements of antitrust authorities, officials say. The companies have committed to retaining Atecs' existing management structures and operating independence for at least three years.
Under the proposal, Siemens Automotive will take over Atecs' VDO unit to create a E7 billion automotive supplier. Bosch, in turn, will link its E1.6 billion automation systems business with the E1.3 billion Rexroth automation unit of Atecs. Other Atecs divisions will be combined with their counterparts at Bosch and Siemens.
The Siemens-VDO combination will offer engineering efficiencies and advantages in the areas of cockpit modules, powertrain systems and driver information packages, Sanderson said.
For Bosch, the deal is expected to expand its small but profitable engineering division, as well as generate substantial cost savings in the global giant's automation technology business.
The joint bid, made in early April, beat a rival E8.75 billion offer from German steel and engineering group Thyssen Krupp AG. It also canceled a 50-50 joint venture that had been planned between the automotive segments of Siemens and Atecs.
Bosch and Siemens said they will not reach a decision on how to divide up the purchase price for Atecs Mannesmann until the acquisition has been approved.