LANDSKRONA, Sweden – Haldex has filed a complaint against its largest shareholder, German brake systems’ manufacturer Knorr-Bremse, with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition, as well as with the Brazilian Competition Authority (the Administrative Council for Economic Defense).
The company’s complaint concerns Knorr-Bremse’s ongoing shareholding in the company and its detrimental effects on competition in several brake systems’ markets where Knorr-Bremse is in a dominant position.
“While it may of course seem puzzling that a company expresses concerns about who their largest shareholders are, this can be explained by the fact that the shareholding of Knorr-Bremse in Haldex has made it more difficult for the company to operate and introduce innovative solutions in the brake systems’ industry,” said Haldex’s Chairman Jörgen Durban.
“This affects both Haldex’s appeal as an investment opportunity and Haldex’s relationship with its customers and ultimately consumers. We, therefore, believe that this situation distorts competition in the industry as a whole.”
The company has been experiencing a complicated ownership situation ever since 2016, when German manufacturers ZF Group and Knorr-Bremse, both active in the truck components industry, became Haldex’s two largest shareholders as a result of takeover attempts.
Customers have expressed concerns about this ownership structure as it distorts market conditions. Similarly, potential investors are skeptical about engaging with the company due to Knorr-Bremse’s shareholding.
After ZF Group announced in Spring 2019 its intention to acquire Wabco, Haldex made a submission to the European Commission seeking an upfront divestiture of ZF Group’s shareholding in Haldex because the acquisition would have given the ZF Group control over both Wabco and Haldex, which are competitors in a number of brake systems and components markets. In September 2019, ZF Group sold its 20 percent stake during the European Commission’s review of ZF Group’s proposed acquisition of Wabco.