STOCKHOLM -- ZF Friedrichshafen will walk away from its bid for Swedish braking systems firm Haldex if it fails to get a 50 percent stake at its current offer of 120 crowns per share, the German supplier said on Wednesday.
"Below 50, we are out," ZF CEO Stefan Sommer told reporters in Stockholm. "We will not continue in a long-lasting bidding process which in the end is bad for the market, bad for the customer, and bad for the people of Haldex."
A number of German car parts makers have looked at buying Haldex in recent months, in particular to get their hands on its expertise in brakes for trailers for use in integrated autonomous driving systems that are being developed for trucks.
Haldex has recommended its shareholders accept ZF's bid even though it is lower than a 125 crown per share offer from German rival Knorr-Bremse, citing possible antitrust concerns with the latter.
ZF, which has already received all the necessary antitrust clearances to buy Haldex, holds a 21.4 percent stake in the Swedish firm, virtually unchanged from when it was last reported despite attempts to persuade more shareholders to sell.
"We couldn't gain anymore because their expectation is at a higher price level," Sommer said.
Haldex shares, which have consistently traded above Knorr-Bremse's 125 crown bid since the offer was made on Sept. 16, were 3.6 percent lower at 121.50 crowns at 13:12 CET.
ZF's offer period ends on Oct. 3 and the firm said it would not be extended unless all conditions, including the 50 percent acceptance level, were met.
Knorr-Bremse now owns 14.9 percent of the Swedish firm, according to a statement last Friday.