BRUSSELS - The European Commission has approved the sale of three Atecs Mannesmann units to Siemens AG, but has delayed its decision on whether Robert Bosch GmbH can buy a fourth Atecs unit, Rexroth AG.
Siemens and Bosch originally made a joint bid for Atecs Mannesman in April.
As expected, the EC has backed plans to integrate Atecs Mannesmann's VDO unit with Siemens Automotive Systems. VDO makes vehicle information and cockpit systems. The new company will be called Siemens VDO Automotive GmbH.
In addition, Siemens will take managerial control of Atecs Mannesmann's Sachs unit.
'Bosch will not be allowed to have any managerial influence on VDO or Sachs,' said a Siemens spokesman.
Franz Wressnigg will be CEO of the new company. He is currently head of Siemens Automotive Systems.
Siemens VDO Automotive will have annual sales of E7 billion and 50,000 employees.
It will have a share of more than 25 percent of the European navigation system, immobilizer, cockpit and locking-system markets.
The European Commission -which acts as the antitrust regulator for the 15-nation European Union - concluded that Siemens would not be able to dominate those markets because of keen competition from other manufacturers and the buying power of the automobile industry.
Hermann Sigle, currently CFO and deputy CEO of Sachs, will stay on as CEO of Sachs in its new life as part of the Siemens group. The company's headquarters will remain in Schweinfurt, Germany.
'Siemens will make its electronic know-how available to Sachs to enable the company to continue developing its electronic body control systems and electronic transmission systems,' said a Siemens spokesman.
Sachs had sales of E2.2 billion in 1999 and has almost 20,000 employees.
The Commission determined that there was no overlap between the existing Siemens and Sachs businesses.
Siemens will also acquire the bulk of Dematic AG, the Atecs Mannesmann division that makes cranes, material-handing systems and components. Dematic will be merged with Siemens' Production and Logistics Systems Group.
Managerial responsibility for the E3.8 billion business will be held by Siemens.
'This merger will position Siemens as a world market leader in the rapidly growing field of logistics automation - including supply chain and e-commerce [solutions],' said a Siemens spokesman.
Dietmar Straub, currently head of Mannesmann Dematic, will be CEO of the new business.
But a decision on the acquisition of the Atecs unit Rexroth AG will be made after further study, said the Commission. Bosch had originally planned to take over Rexroth, which specializes in making hydraulic systems and automation technology.
The Commission said it was concerned that Bosch's acquisition of Rexroth might give the company dominance in the piston pump and industrial hydraulics markets.
On August 14, the Commission cleared Bosch and Siemens' joint buy of a fifth Atecs unit, Demag Krauss Maffei. The company operates in the plastics machinery, turbine, production technology and weapons technology sectors.
Financial analysts expect Siemens Automotive AG to be sold off by Siemens in a few years' time.