Knorr-Bremse AG has submitted a cash offer for Swedish Haldex Aktiebolag (Haldex), valuing the company at SEK 4.86 billion (US$575 million). Haldex is one of the leading suppliers of brake and air suspension systems for the commercial vehicle industry, with a focus on trailer applications. The takeover bid is subject to certain customary closing conditions, including an acceptance ratio of more than 90% of all outstanding Haldex shares and regulatory approval.
According to Knorr-Bremse, its acquisition of Haldex would create one of the leading systems suppliers with a clear focus on the commercial vehicle business and attractive growth opportunities for both companies. Haldex’s expertise in brake and air suspension components for the trailer segment complements the Knorr-Bremse product portfolio, which comprises not only braking, steering and powertrain systems, but also driver assistance systems, automated driving functions and telematics.
“Both our companies share a deep-rooted tradition in the commercial vehicle industry with innovation at heart, making this a very natural combination. We would bring in our strong expertise in the truck market, global technological leadership, and the long-term perspective of a family-owned business. Haldex has an impressive position in the trailer market, as well as a strong product portfolio and will play a key role in our company,” stated Klaus Deller, chairman of Knorr-Bremse AG.
“We aim at creating a world-class systems supplier for commercial vehicles serving our customers as a single source for an even wider range of innovative systems, connected solutions and customized services. In addition, we will play a driving force in our industry as it transforms towards autonomous driving. A combination unlocks significant growth potential for both companies for the benefit of customers, business partners and employees,” added Deller.
Knorr-Bremse’s long-term profitable sales growth is based on technological leadership driven by above average R&D investments. According to the company, this commercial vehicle-focused R&D approach, supported by Knorr-Bremse’s solid financial position, would play a key part in further developing Haldex as an integral part of its commercial vehicle business.
“Due to Haldex’s established track record in the trailer market it would be an obvious solution to use the Haldex brand as the overall group brand for the combined trailer business and to make Haldex a center of excellence for trailers. The company would thus be a driving force for the further development of Knorr-Bremse group,” said Knorr-Bremse in a statement.
Both groups have a largely complementary product portfolio which would allow them to jointly offer complete wheelends, consisting of foundation drum brakes, slack adjusters, air disc brakes and brake actuators for worldwide applications. Additionally, Knorr-Bremse would contribute a comprehensive product range of advanced electronic chassis control, vehicle dynamics including steering and powertrain control systems.
Advanced braking and steering systems are core technologies for all automated driving functions, which would complement Knorr-Bremse’s acquisition of Tedrive Steering Systems in 2016, a move which added advanced steering technology to its portfolio.
As opposed to the emerging automated driving solutions in passenger cars, full systems competence for automated driving in commercial vehicles requires the ability to control the dynamics of truck and trailer simultaneously. Therefore the addition of Haldex’s expertise in the trailer sector could make a substantial contribution to the development of this comprehensive systems competence.