Burkhard Wollschlager will step down as chief executive officer at German plastics machinery maker Krauss-Maffei AG at the end of the year. Wollschlager has headed the Munich company for the past 11 years. He is leaving as Dusseldorf-based Mannesmann AG prepares to acquire all outstanding shares in Krauss-Maffei.
Wollschlager made the decision to leave, said Krauss-Maffei spokesman Karl Schmidt. Woll-schlager will remain at the firm through Dec. 31. Krauss-Maffei's supervisory board will decide on a successor when it meets this month. Woll-schlager could not be reached for comment.
Wollschlager is the second top-level executive to leave Krauss-Maffei this year. In August, Rolf Lidl voluntarily left as Krauss-Maffei president. He was replaced by Wilhelm Schroder.
Schmidt, speaking Oct. 29 from Germany, confirmed a published report that Wollschlager has disagreements with Mannesmann executives about the future direction of Krauss-Maffei. He also felt complete ownership by Mannesmann would reduce his ability to fully manage Krauss-Maffei, the spokesman said.
Mannesmann, a giant German engineering firm, has steadily increased its stake in Krauss-Maffei for several years. Mannesmann acquired majority ownership in Krauss-Maffei in 1990. In late 1995, Mannesmann acquired another 25 percent from Diehl GmbH & Co., boosting its total ownership to 97 percent.
On Oct. 10, Mannesmann AG announced an offer to buy all remaining outstanding shares in Krauss-Maffei, for three Mannesmann shares for each Krauss-Maffei share. A few weeks earlier, Mannesmann announced it was fully integrating ownership of Krauss-Maffei into the company.
Mannesmann also will suspend trading of Krauss-Maffei shares on German stock exchanges in Munich, Frankfurt and Berlin.
Krauss-Maffei makes injection molding machines, extruders, reaction injection molding machines and surface-treating equipment. The company also does defense engineering. Its U.S. headquarters is in Florence, Ky.
Mannesmann AG, with more than $15 billion in sales, is a major player in plastics machinery. The conglomerate also owns Mannesmann Demag AG in Duisburg, Germany, which in turn owns Mannesmann Demag Kunststofftecknik in Schwaig, Germany. Mannesmann Demag in 1993 purchased Van Dorn Plastic Machinery Co. in Strongsville, Ohio. The firm, renamed Van Dorn Demag Corp., bought Newbury Industries Inc. in mid-1996.