STOCKHOLM -- Haldex asked Knorr-Bremse to clarify its intentions towards the Swedish brake systems maker after ZF Friedrichshafen dropped out of a bidding contest with its rival German supplier.
Haldex, which initially backed ZF's 120 crown per share offer rather than a 125 crown bid from Knorr-Bremse, wants to know if Knorr-Bremse will follow through with its takeover offer.
A number of German car parts makers have Haldex in their sights, in particular to get their hands on its expertise in brakes for trailers which could be used in integrated autonomous driving systems that are being developed for trucks.
"We have asked for information from them, what their plans are, so we feel secure in that. But we don't have the type of information so that we can be sure they are determined to complete the deal," Haldex Acting Chairman Magnus Johansson said today. "Our fear is that customers are going to start to act on the current uncertainty. There is a risk for business here and a risk that the staff feel uncertainty," he said.
ZF today said it would reach out to its German rival Knorr-Bremse to review options for Haldex. "We look forward to constructive talks with the other shareholders of Haldex over the future development of the company," ZF CEO Stefan Sommer said.
"We will stay true to our Strategy 2025. To meet future mega-trends of the industry, we will continue to invest in and expand ZF's diverse product portfolio. However, we do not depend on any single acquisition to achieve those aims," Sommer said in a statement.
ZF said on Tuesday it held 21.7 percent of Haldex shares but only another 9.6 percent of shareholders had accepted its 5.29 billion Swedish crown ($618 million) offer. "The shares tendered in the offer will automatically be returned to their respective owners," ZF said in a statement today.
Knorr-Bremse today said the company feels validated in its view that we made the better offer. "The offer runs until Dec. 5 and shareholders can decide until then whether to tender their shares," it said.