* SGL to ask shareholders to approve Klatten as chairwoman
* Puts BMW heiress in better position versus VW
* SGL to provide carbon fibres for BMW's i3 electric vehicle
(Adds background, details)
FRANKFURT, March 13 Susanne Klatten, Germany's
richest woman and a major investor in carmaker BMW, is set to
become head of the supervisory board at SGL Carbon,
giving her more influence over the carbon fibre firm in which
both BMW and rival VW have stakes.
SGL said on Wednesday the supervisory board would ask
shareholders at their April 30 annual meeting to approve Klatten
SGL was the subject of a headline-grabbing tussle between
BMW and Volkswagen (VW) in 2011.
BMW at the time secured a 15.7 percent stake in SGL, the
only European maker of fibres that go into ultra-lightweight
carbon reinforced plastics, stealing a march on Volkswagen
, which holds almost 10 percent of the firm's shares.
Carbon fibre reinforced plastics are 30 percent lighter than
aluminium and 50 percent lighter than steel, offering carmakers
a way to cut vehicle weight and carbon dioxide emissions. The
passenger cabin of BMW's compact electric vehicle i3, to be
launched later this year, consists of carbon fibre reinforced
parts based on SGL's products.
While these fibres are a promising new product for SGL, the
company's main business for now is graphite electrodes, which
are built into electric arc furnaces to recycle scrap metal into
Klatten, currently deputy chairwoman of the supervisory
board, owns just under 27 percent of SGL Carbon via the Skion
Current Chairman Max Dietrich Kley will vacate the role at
the April 30 annual general meeting.
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Mark Potter)