Schaeffler says it has successfully completed the placement of 3.9% of Continental AG shares, helping to reduce its overall debt by almost EUR1.3bn.

Schaeffler said the Continental share placing proceeds amounted to approximately EUR950m. Combined with a prepayment of EUR325m from excess free cash flow, the company says it therefore has reduced its indebtedness by around EUR1.275bn.

Schaeffler sold 7.8m shares in Continental AG at a price of EUR122.50 per share to a broad range of international investors in an Accelerated Bookbuilt Offering. The company still has plenty of debt though. It said that together with the debt prepayment from excess cash flow, "Schaeffler reduces its gross debt from currently approximately EUR10.3bn to around EUR9.0bn".

Following the placement, Schaeffler's participation in Continental AG amounts to 46.0%, whereby Schaeffler AG holds 34.2% and Schaeffler Holding holds 11.8% of the outstanding share capital. Schaeffler remains the largest shareholder in Continental AG and thus confirms its long term strategic participation in the company, it said.

Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler and Georg F. W. Schaeffler, shareholders of Schaeffler Group, said, "The further reduction of debt is an important step for the continuous successful development of our company. We will maintain our shareholding in Continental as it is of long term and strategic importance to us."