• Haldex considering SAF proposal and cites competing offer
  • SAF sees combination competitive as big rigs link to Internet

SAF-Holland SA offered 4.2 billion kronor ($495 million) to buy Haldex AB, a combination of truckmaking suppliers that could help match mechanical parts with sensors and electronic components as big rigs increasingly link up to the internet.

SAF made a cash bid of 94.42 kronor for each share in the Swedish brakes and air suspension systems maker, a premium of 11 percent over the closing price before the proposal, the Luxembourg-based suitor said Thursday in a statement. Haldex said it’s considering the unsolicited offer and has also received a “credible non-binding proposal” from a third party.

“Together we’ll be able to offer a complete solution for many components,” Detlef Borghardt, SAF’s chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Trucking companies want to network big rigs together and use the resulting real-time data to reduce empty runs, better use employees’ time and improve road safety via driver-assistance systems such as convoys. At the same time, commercial-vehicle makers’ earnings are under pressure amid fierce price competition in Europe and falling demand in the U.S. 

Haldex’s board will respond to SAF’s offer no later than two weeks before the Aug. 24 end of the acceptance period, the Stockholm-based company said in a statement. It hasn’t received the terms of the other offer, and there’s no certainty one will be made, Haldex said.

The shares rose 7 percent above SAF’s offer price, trading up 18 percent at 101 kronor at 10:36 a.m. in Stockholm.

SAF’s proposal requires acceptance of 90 percent of Haldex shareholders. 

Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co. is advising SAF. Lazard Ltd. is acting as financial adviser for Haldex, and Mannheimer Swartling is acting as legal adviser.

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