News Bites

A small Polish lemonade company will no longer sell its produce under the name John Lemon after a complaint from Yoko Ono, the widow of The Beatles singer John Lennon.

Merger talks between Deutsche Telekom’s US subsidiary T-Mobile and Sprint are close to completion, paving the way for a US cell phone operator with 130 million customers and sales of $70 billion. (Reuters)

In a disagreement about restructuring, Volkswagen’s supervisory board backed CEO Matthias Müller with the Porsche and Piëch families which hold 52 percent of VW’s shares.

Berlin will cap export credit guarantees for German companies doing business in Turkey to €1.5 billion in 2017, a move that exposes firms to higher risk, amid political tensions between the two countries.

Two entrepreneurs who lost the first round of a bidding war for the bankrupt Air Berlin said they considered legal action against the creditors’ decision to favor Lufthansa.

Amazon Germany introduced a controversial bonus scheme rewarding teams in which employees take few or no sick days. Doctors and labor law experts say the program could backfire. (N-TV)

The purchasing managers’ index for the industrial sector and service providers rose by 1.0 point to 56.7 points in September, according to IHS Markit on Friday, exceeding expectations. This suggests the euro zone’s GDP grew by 0.7 percent in the third quarter of 2017.

Varta, a maker of batteries for hearing aids and head seats, plans to enter the stock market this fall after an attempt failed last December in the aftermath of the election of Donald Trump, sources told WirtschaftsWoche.

Denmark contemplates introducing a highway toll in 2020, charging foreign motorists up to €130 euros a year. The scheme is based on Germany’s controversial road tax project.

Steel production at ThyssenKrupp was almost completely halted as employees went on strike against the planned merger with Tata Steel Europe.

Heinrich Weiss

Boy Wonder to Big Boss

The longtime head of SMS Group remains as combative as ever as he moves the specialist engineering firm into new product lines.

ThyssenKrupp Tata

A European Giant Emerges From the Wreckage

Brought in to save the German steel maker from bankruptcy, CEO Heinrich Hiesinger agreed a deal with Indian rival Tata Steel that will break up an icon of German industry.

Finnish Bid

Buying Germany’s Smoke Stacks

Energy company Fortum has offered €8.1 billion for Uniper, the fossil-fuel subsidiary of German utility E.ON. Uniper rejected the offer – but that won't be enough to stop it.

Family-business IPOs

The Third Way

Germany's family-owned businesses are increasingly moving to part-family, part-public ownership to raise cash and improve governance without giving up control.

Tarmac Tussle

British Airways, Lufthansa in Air Berlin Bidding War

With proposals due for review on Thursday, two main contenders have emerged to clinch well sought-after parts of the insolvent group.

Car Supplier

Knorr-Bremse Mulls IPO

Knorr-Bremse, the world’s largest maker of brakes for trucks and trains, is considering selling a minority stake in the company and listing it on the stock market.

Handelsblatt Exclusive

EnBW Goes Green

German power group EnBW plans to ditch conventional power plants and focus on renewables, networks and distribution. But its plans are less radical than some rivals.

mittelstand

Pint-Sized but Powerful

Germany's legendary small and mid-sized companies invest better, are more productive and retain more profits than their exchange-listed brethren.

Internet of Things

SAP’s Revolutionary Zeal

The world’s largest maker of business software is forging into the Internet of Things with its new Leonardo platform. Critics say it’s not finished yet.  

Cultural Revolution

Banishing the Dieselgate Ghost

Volkswagen’s CEO says the carmaker is set on overhauling its culture. But old habits die hard, and an American outsider could be the real catalyst for change.

Car Show

E-asy like Sunday Morning

It was all about electric cars at Frankfurt's motor show this week.

Marc O'Polo

The Inelegant Germans

The head of clothing brand Marc O'Polo talked to Handelsblatt about the lack of chic in German fashion and how to transform style-impaired men into lifelong customers.

Bidding Deadline

Last Call for Air Berlin

Germany's beleaguered and bankrupt Air Berlin is attracting more interest in death than in life. Lufthansa had hoped to cherry-pick the best bits but more potential buyers are now lining up.

industrial automation

Siemens is Automating its Future in China

The engineering company is relocating the management of its industrial robotics division to the world's biggest robot market – China

'Deceived Customers'

Merkel Spanks Car Industry For Dieselgate

Chancellor Angela Merkel, in the midst of a campaign for a new government, chooses the Frankfurt auto show to lambast carmakers.

oliver blume, porsche ceo, dieselgate

Dieselgate

Despite Diesel Recall, Porsche Will Push On

Porsche CEO Oliver Blume says the company won’t use the recent recall of thousands of Cayenne SUVs as a springboard to phase out diesel cars entirely.

Steel Merger

ThyssenKrupp Workers Steeling for a Fight

As staff at ThyssenKrupp resist a proposed marriage of its struggling steel division with India's Tata, activist investor group Cevian may prove an unlikely ally.

Airline Turbulence

‘Sick’ Pilots Throw Air Berlin into Chaos

As negotiations on the sale of insolvent Air Berlin enter their crucial stage, managers warn the airline may have to shut down operations if pilots repeat wildcat strikes.

China Investments

Your Money’s No Good Here

The EU plans to give more leeway to members to block acquisitions by China and other foreign investors, raising some concerns about protectionism.

Uniper CEO Interview

How Fossil Fuels Can Flourish

Germany’s largest utility remains undeterred about takeover speculation even as key shareholder E.ON could sell its stake. Uniper can actually thrive thanks to the country’s renewable energy shift, its CEO said.

VW Group

Making A Big Bet On Electric Cars

The company will spend €20 billion to produce 50 all-electric models by 2025, challenging Tesla and Japanese carmakers. The big question that remains: where will the batteries come from?

Vodafone Germany

Stealing a March on Deutsche Telekom

The company says it will spend €2 billion to roll out high-speed internet to 13.7 million businesses and homes.

The Aftermath

Losing Their Religion

Carmakers are meeting at the annual IAA trade fair, two years after the Dieselgate scandal erupted. Priority number one: winning back the confidence of customers and investors.

smart power

Speeding into a Bottleneck

Germany has dragged its feet on electro mobility. Now it may be paying the price. The electricity grid just isn't ready for the shift away from combustion engines.

Niederegger Marzipan

Sweet on Change

Throughout European history, marzipan has been a sought-after sweet. A centuries-old German manufacturer must reinvent to stay relevant.

Fiber optics

High-Speed Internet: A Hot-Button Election Issue

Germany has one of the lowest rates of adoption for fiber-optic cable in the world. Politicians are promising to do something to boost connection speeds, both for companies and for people in rural areas.