Siemens, Mannesmann Merge Auto Tech Units

German technology and engineering company Siemens AG and Atecs Mannesmann AG will pool their automotive systems businesses in a joint venture that will create the world's leading supplier of high-tech electronic systems. Each partner will retain a 50%-stake in the new company, to be named Atecs Siemens Automotive AG. The company will begin operations, subject to approval of the responsible boards and antitrust authorities, July 1, the two companies said. The new company has combined sales of 7 billion euros (US$7 billion) and employs about 50,000 people. The new systems supplier intends to double its business volume to 14 billion euros within five years, they said. By consolidating its resources, the company expects an additional middle-term earnings potential of some 400 million euros a year, it said.

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