STOCKHOLM Feb 10 Swedish brake systems maker
Haldex, under bid from German rival Knorr-Bremse, said
on Friday it expected a lower margin and no sales growth this
year with weak market demand and effects from the ongoing
bidding process seen hitting business.
Two German firms, larger brake systems firm Knorr-Bremse and
auto supplier ZF Friedrichshafen, were locked in a bidding war
over the Swedish firm last fall, but ZF dropped out eventually
after failing to convince enough shareholders to sell.
Knorr-Bremse said on Thursday it was extending the
acceptance period in its 5.53 billion crown bid ($621)
million)(125 SEK/share) for Haldex from the end of February
until mid-June as it needed more time to get necessary
clearances from competition authorities.
"It will be difficult for Haldex to show growth due to the
weak market conditions and the drawn-out bidding process,"
Haldex Chief Executive Bo Annvik said in a statement.
"Due to lower net sales and high costs related to the
bidding process, the operating margin for 2017 is forecast to be
slightly lower than in 2016."
Haldex said its fourth-quarter adjusted operating profit was
48 million crowns ($5.4 million), sharply down from 76 million
in the year-ago period, but above analyst forecasts for a 42
million crown profit.
Net sales were flat at 1.05 billion crowns in the quarter,
and slightly about the 1.02 billion crowns analyst mean
The Landskrona-based firm cut its 2016 margin forecast in
late December, saying the ongoing takeover situation had
negatively impacted business and led to extra costs.
Before ZF dropped out of the bidding war in October, Haldex'
board had recommended its lower 120 crown per share bid over
concerns that the Knorr-Bremse offer could run into problems
with competition authorities.
Knorr-Bremse said in December it had reached 86 percent of
shares in the bid, including the shares it already owned. The
bid is conditional on getting it cleared by competition
Haldex shares were down 0.2 percent at 117.50 crowns by 0919
GMT in very thin trade.
($1 = 8.9097 Swedish crowns)
(Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom; Editing by Alistair Scrutton)