* Haldex demands clarity after ZF bows out of bidding war
* ZF failed to reach its 50 percent threshold
* ZF says will seek talks with Haldex shareholders
(Adds comments from ZF CEO and Haldex chairman)
STOCKHOLM, Oct 5 Haldex asked
Knorr-Bremse on Wednesday to clarify its intentions
towards the Swedish brake systems maker after ZF Friedrichshafen
bowed out of a bidding war with its rival German car
Haldex, which initially backed ZF's 120 crown per share
offer rather than a 125 crown bid from Knorr-Bremse, wants to
know if the German firm will follow through with its takeover.
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
"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 on Wednesday 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 Chief Executive Stefan Sommer said in a statement.
"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.
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.
Knorr-Bremse said on Wednesday: "Knorr-Bremse 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."
ZF is prevented from raising its offer for another 12 months
under Swedish takeover rules.
($1 = 8.5644 Swedish crowns)
(Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom in Stockholm, Edward Taylor
and Ilona Wissenbach in Frankfurt; editing by Niklas Pollard and