Europe Top News and Analysis Germany

  • Britain's ICI has rejected an improved 7.8 billion-pound ($15.9 billion) takeover proposal from Dutch rival Akzo Nobel, saying the 85 increase in the offer price is not enough.

  • Volkswagen, the world's fourth largest carmaker, will meet its 2008 pretax profit target of 5.1 billion euros ($7 billion) a year earlier than planned, the company said on Friday.

  • Business sentiment in Germany slipped in July for the third month in a row, according to a closely watched economic index released Thursday.

  • Belgian drug maker UCB Group said Thursday first-half net profit fell 39% as it absorbed the cost of taking over Germany's Schwarz Pharm.

  • Siemens' new chief executive made his debut on Wednesday with a politically astute disposal, a surprise acquisition but a weak set of third-quarter results, sending Siemens shares down more than 4%.

  • Merck said second-quarter net profit slumped to 85.5 million euros ($117.9 million) from 528.5 million euros in the year-earlier period after a gain from the sale of assets last year was not repeated and as the company wrote down the value of some inventory after buying Serono.

  • German real-estate financing company Hypo Real Estate  has agreed to take over Dublin-headquartered Depfa Bank  in a shares-and-cash transaction that values Depfa at 5.7 billion euros  ($7.9 billion), the companies said Monday.

  • Continental Chief Executive Manfred Wennemer will have to play the German card to get key support from German unions to buy conglomerate Siemens' automotive electronics unit VDO.

  • The newly appointed head of Airbus says politics will not throw pending plant sales off course but if dollar weakness worsens, its Power8 restructuring plan would need a drastic revamp.

  • SAP posted an 18% rise in software licence sales for the second quarter, surprising the market after arch-rival Oracle reported a slowdown in the Americas and Asia-Pacific.

  • German car parts maker Continental and Blackstone Group with its TRW Automotive Holdings are set to submit bids for VDO, the automotive unit of Siemens, people familiar with the situation said on Wednesday.

  • French luxury goods company PPR said Tuesday it owns 62.1% of Puma following an extended offer period for the German sportswear company.

  • Premiere plans to increase the price subscribers pay to watch Bundesliga soccer matches by a third if it regains the right to broadcast the matches in Germany, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported, citing industry sources.

  • Shareholders of Airbus' troubled parent company EADS are close to a deal that would end a cumbersome dual management system, an official said Monday.

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made it clear to French President Nicolas Sarkozy that Germany will firmly resist any efforts to impinge upon the European Central Bank's independence, Der Spiegel news magazine reported on Sunday.

  • Automaker BMW said Friday that sales in the first six months of the year rose by 4.5%.

  • Shares in German pay-TV broadcaster Premiere rose 5% Friday, bolstered by media reports the company would buy rights to broadcast German Bundesliga soccer games.

  • A German court on Thursday rejected a lawsuit by Moncrief Oil International that sought to void a joint venture between BASF and Gazprom to develop a Siberian gas field.

  • EU regulators fined Spain's Telefonica 151 million euros ($205 million) on Wednesday, claiming the company unfairly squeezed rivals by setting wholesale Internet prices too high to allow them turn a profit.

  • Nokia said Klaus Kleinfeld, the president and chief executive of Siemens, has resigned from the board of Nokia Siemens Networks, as of July 1.