FRANKFURT -- German automotive supplier ZF Friedrichshafen raised its offer for Swedish brake systems maker Haldex to 4.86 billion Swedish crowns ($572 million) today, matching a rival bid from Germany's Knorr-Bremse.
Knorr-Bremse last week reignited a bidding war for Haldex, trumping ZF with a 110 Swedish crowns a share offer.
While both companies are now offering the same amount of money, Haldex's board unanimously backed ZF's offer, saying it was less likely to be stopped by anti-trust regulators.
Knorr-Bremse's offer runs a significant risk of requiring a lengthy review that could last six months or longer, Haldex said in a statement.
ZF already has regulatory clearances from all relevant authorities except Russia, whose approval it expects to receive by the end of the week, ZF CEO Stefan Sommer told journalists on a conference call.
ZF also lowered the minimum number of shares needed for the takeover to go through to 50 percent of Haldex's capital from 90 percent previously, saying its priority was to gain a majority stake in the group.
It already owns about 4.2 percent of shares and has secured commitments from Haldex shareholders representing just over 17 percent of stock to tender their shares to ZF.
Knorr-Bremse said it had taken note of ZF's raised offer and would weigh its next move, adding it was still convinced its bid offered Haldex better prospects in the long run than ZF's.
Haldex shares were unchanged at 114.75 crowns in early trading, suggesting investors are hopeful of a higher offer.