Schaeffler estimated the future wrongly when acquiring Continental, owner Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler told German magazine Der SPIEGEL .

Schaeffler, however, was not solely to blame for the situation resulting from the takeover, she emphasised, according to Handelsblatt, adding that she thought the change in the global economy was partly attributable to banks and political factors.

In spring and summer 2008 it was not foreseeable how hard the economic crisis would get, her son and co-owner Georg Schaeffler, added. Had the company known it would accumulate so many debts during the acquisition, it would have surely not approached it, he said.

Schaeffler group has already presented a reorganisation plant to its banks, Schaeffler said.

Separately, it was reported the company would have to wait some time before being granted any state aid.

Further coordination steps were necessary before a decision on state help to the debt-laden company could be made, Bavaria’s prime minister Horst Seehofer and economy minister Martin Zeil said after a meeting with Schaeffler representatives, according to Boersen-Zeitung.

Schaeffler borrowed EUR16bn to acquire Continental last year, but is now struggling to service the debt.