November 11, 2016 / 5:00 PM / a year ago

German union to oppose any Osram takeover bid

MUNICH, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Powerful German trade union IG Metall will fight any attempted takeover of lighting group Osram , it said on Friday, after the company revealed this week that it had been in contact with potential Chinese investors.

IG Metall said last month that it wanted job and plant guarantees in the event of any takeover, but it has since reassessed the situation and concluded that Osram does not an investor.

“We will vehemently oppose any takeover attempt because of ... possible negative effects for the workers,” a union spokesman cited Bavarian IG Metall Chief Juergen Wechsler as saying.

Wechsler’s remarks were first reported by German business daily Handelsblatt.

Osram, which is focusing on LED (light-emitting diode) technology, became the target of takeover speculation after a string of Chinese acquisitions of German technology companies.

Rumours were also stoked by the displeasure of 18 percent shareholder Siemens at a strategy shift by Osram in favour of general-purpose lighting LED chips, which led to speculation that it might sell its stake.

In July Osram agreed to sell it light bulbs unit Ledvance to a group of Chinese buyers including lighting company MLS for more than 400 million euros ($434 million). The deal is under investigation for approval by the German government. ($1 = 0.9220 euros) (Reporting by Joern Poltz; Writing by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by David Goodman)

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