ZF Raises Offer for Haldex to Match Rival Bid for Brakemaker

  • Knorr-Bremse says it can offer Haldex a ‘better future’
  • ZF says it secured control of more than 21 percent of Haldex

ZF Friedrichshafen AG raised its bid for Haldex AB to match a rival offer from Knorr-Bremse AG for the Swedish maker of truck brakes in an attempt to end a bidding war.

ZF increased its offer 10 percent to 110 kronor a share, valuing Haldex at 4.85 billion kronor ($570 million), the Friedrichshafen, Germany-based car-parts maker said in a statement on Wednesday. In addition to the higher offer, ZF said it has secured control of more than 21 percent of Haldex stock, including shares it holds itself and agreements with other investors. Haldex’s board of directors backed the offer and advised shareholder to snub Knorr-Bremse’s approach.

“The offer by ZF provides the Haldex shareholders with significantly greater deal certainty than Knorr-Bremse’s offer and is likely to close significantly faster than Knorr-Bremse’s offer,” the Haldex board said in a separate statement.

Knorr-Bremse responded to the latest ZF offer, saying Haldex would have “a better future” as part of the Munich-based company, a Knorr-Bremse spokeswoman said by phone. The German brakemaker will examine ZF’s bid and consider its next move, she said, adding that “Haldex would be a valuable addition.”

The competition for Haldex reflects automotive suppliers’ increasing efforts to combine to develop advanced self-driving and electric-vehicle technologies. German truck-parts producer SAF-Holland SA made an unsolicited offer for Haldex in mid-July, but withdrew after being outbid by ZF in early August and receiving acceptances from owners of just 0.45 percent of the voting stock.

Third Offer

Knorr-Bremse then stepped in with a third offer for Haldex on Sept. 5, outbidding ZF’s original 100 krona-a-share proposal. With more moves anticipated, Haldex has been trading above the 110 kronor level since Knorr-Bremse’s approach.

Haldex rose 0.7 percent to 115.50 kronor at 10:01 a.m. in Stockholm trading. The stock has gained 45 percent this year, valuing the manufacturer at 5.1 billion kronor.

ZF, which already owns 4.2 percent of the share capital in Haldex, said it lowered the level of acceptance required to complete the deal to 50 percent from at least 90 percent. The shareholders who have accepted ZF’s offer are AFA Försäkring, Göran Carlson and Handelsbanken Fonder, which together own 17.1 percent of all shares and votes in Haldex, ZF said.

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