Landskrona, Sweden – The news that Haldex´s major owner ZF is now ready to sell its stake of 20 percent of the shares in the Swedish company had barely been communicated before the congratulations from its customers began to flow.
“This is a message that both our customers and we have been waiting for since ZF made a bid for our competitor Wabco earlier this year,” said Jörgen Durban, chairman of the board. “It is clear that many of our customers are worried about the competitive situation on the brake market when one and the same player has ownership interests in two competing businesses.”
Ever since 2016-2017, the company has had a challenging ownership structure where the two largest owners, ZF with 20 percent and Knorr-Bremse with 10-15 percent, have their own interests in the automotive supplier industry. With ZF’s bid on Wabco, which is one of Haldex’s main competitors, the ownership structure was further aggravated.
According to information released Sept. 12, ZF is now considering a sale. Maybe, this is due to the company making the assessment that the competition authorities in both the EU and the US may require such a waiver in order to approve the Wabco acquisition later in the year.
“Whatever the reason, the news is good because it simplifies the situation somewhat going forward, which our customers demand. I have therefore contacted ZF today with the message that we are happy to help the company find owners who can contribute to the development of Haldex,” said Durban.
As of now, the board does not want to name such a possible buyer but is content to note that owners with links to the industry are preferred over an institutional investor.
“Of course, we would also welcome institutional investors. However, if you are to problematize a bit, if ZF’s holding is divided it means the risk of Knorr-Bremse becoming our largest owner. That would be unfortunate since our customers also see Knorr-Bremse as one of Haldex’s main competitors,” continued Durban.
“You might object that it is not Haldex’s or the board’s task to have opinions on our owners, but right now I cannot help but have a slight feeling of ‘one down, one to go’. Nevertheless, today’s message is definitely a step in the right direction,” concluded Durban.
With more than 100 years of intensely focused innovation, Haldex holds unrivaled expertise in brake systems and air suspension systems for heavy trucks, trailers and buses. It lives and breathes its business delivering robust, technically superior solutions born from deep insight into its customers’ reality. By concentrating on its core competencies and following its strengths and passions, it combines both the operating speed and flexibility required by the market. Collaborative innovation is not only the essence of its products – it is also its philosophy. Our 2,300 employees, spread on four continents, are constantly challenging the conventional and strive to ensure that the products It delivers creates unique value for its customers and all end-users. The company is listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm Stock Exchange and have net sales of approximately 5 billion SEK.