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KKR, Bain and Allianz eye Conti rubber operations: paper

A Continental company sign is pictured outside the company's administration headquarters in the northern German city of Hanover, July 16, 2008. REUTERS/Morris Mac Matzen

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Three private equity investors are preparing takeover offers for the rubber business of German car parts giant Continental CONG.DE, Handelsblatt reported on Sunday.

In an article to be published in its Monday edition, the German business daily cited banking sources saying Kohlberg Kravis Roberts KKR.UL, Bain Capital and Allianz Capital Partners ALVG.DE were already working on bids for the business even though there is no official sale process.

Conti has already mandated Perella Weinberg to examine a sale, which the paper said was valued by analysts at between 7 billion and 11 billion euros ($8.8 billion to $13.8 billion).

Chief Executive Karl-Thomas Neumann, who took over from the departed Manfred Wennemer following his failed defense against a takeover by Schaeffler at the end of August, will inform his supervisory board on Monday about the process, according to Handelsblatt.

One source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday that the sales process was still not at an advanced stage and no due diligence had been made.

At the end of September, Conti said it would group its three main car parts divisions together into its Automotive business under the responsibility of Neumann.

The remaining three divisions -- car tires, truck tires and ContiTech -- would be grouped into its new Rubber business that would be headed by Neumann’s erstwhile competitor for the CEO post, finance chief Alan Hippe.

Conti, which is now controlled by German family owned bearings maker Schaeffler, could not be reached for comment.

As part of a deal to gain management support, Schaeffler pledged not to push for the breakup of the company but the agreement allowed for Conti’s management to make that decision itself.

Reporting by Christiaan Hetzner; additional reporting by Philipp Halstrick and Arno Schuetze; Editing by Maureen Bavdek

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