It comprises Schaeffler AG, one of the biggest manufacturers of ball bearings and machine parts in the world. In 2008, the business announced its debt-funded acquisition of the publicly traded tire and auto parts giant Continental AG for $15 billion. She and Georg already now own 46% of Continental or around $17 billion worth of stake. Most of Maria Elizabeth’s net worth comes from the success of Continental. Nonetheless, she also took over in 1996 following the passing of her husband, Georg, the manufacturing company that’s now known as INA. Presently, she owns 20% of the umbrella business, INA Holding Schaeffler GmbH & Co. KG. In January 2013, Maria-Elizabeth was named Family Business Woman of the Year 2012 by the representatives from the German business world as well as the company paper, Handelsblatt.