Schaeffler Group has sold Continental AG shares worth some EUR1.8bn in a bid to reduce debt.

The company accumulated debt during its hostile takeover bid for Continental in 2008.

Some 30 million Continental shares held on Schaeffler’s behalf have been sold by investment banks to a wide range of investors at EUR60 each, the company said.

Schaeffler aims to pay back loans of EUR400m and EUR600m and reduce debts costs.