(Corrects typographical error in headline)
HANOVER, Germany, Sept 21 German vehicle parts
firm ZF Friedrichshafen has not ruled out a further
improvement in its offer for Swedish braking systems maker
Haldex in view of German rival Knorr-Bremse's higher
bid, Chief Executive Stefan Sommer said on
"We haven't said anything about whether this is the final
offer," Sommer said of his company's 120 Swedish crowns per
share bid for Haldex.
"We will keep all negotiating positions open," he added,
speaking at the IAA commercial vehicles trade show.
ZF's bid is below Knorr-Bremse's current 125 crowns per
share offer and both fall short of Haldex's closing price of 127
euros per share on Wednesday, valuing the company at around $650
Several German car parts makers have been looking to buy
Haldex, keen on its expertise in brakes for road freight
trailers in particular as they seek to develop integrated
autonomous driving systems for commercial vehicles.
Haldex said on Monday its board had unanimously recommended
shareholders accept ZF's offer because while their businesses
were complementary the bid by Knorr-Bremse, which makes braking
systems for commercial vehicles, could run into difficulties
with the competition regulators.
Haldex Chief Executive Bo Annvik joined ZF's news conference
at the trade show on Wednesday and warned that a protracted
vetting process for a Knorr-Bremse takeover could cause some
customers to jump ship.
A large number of Haldex shareholders were therefore likely
to back ZF's lower but safe offer, Annvik said.
"We see this as a friendly takeover. Knorr is our main
competitor in all eight product lines," Annvik said.
Knorr's head of commercial vehicles, Peter Laier, declined
to comment on Annvik's remarks.
"We are strongly convinced that the merger of the two
companies (Knorr and Haldex) would be an advantage for all
participants," Laier said.
($1 = 0.8962 euros)
(Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach; Writing by Jonathan Gould;
Editing by Greg Mahlich)