December 15, 2016 / 9:15 AM / a year ago

Haldex says U.S. request to delay Knorr Bremse takeover many months

STOCKHOLM, Dec 15 (Reuters) - The request for more information from U.S. regulators over German car parts maker Knorr Bremse’s planned takeover of Sweden’s Haldex means the process will likely will be extended several months, Haldex acting chairman said on Thursday.

Knorr Bremse said on Wednesday it had received a request for additional information from the antitrust division of the U.S. Department of Justice for its planned acquisition of Haldex.

Knorr Bremse said last week it had 86 percent of Haldex shares after winning a bidding war with ZF Friedrichshafen.

The two German rivals had both wanted to buy Haldex, lured by its expertise in brake systems for trucks and trailers which car suppliers want to develop into autonomous driving systems.

Haldex’s board initially recommended ZF’s offer, even though it was lower than Knorr‘s, saying it was concerned a takeover by Knorr Bremse could face antitrust issues, but ZF eventually bowed out of the contest.

“This is exactly what the board emphasized when we recommended another solution, we saw the risk for a long and extended process,” Haldex acting Chairman Magnus Johansson told Reuters. “It is hard to say, but one can assume it will take a number of months, maybe six months.”

Johansson also said a period of uncertainty about Haldex’ ownership situation was undesirable for the company as it could risk losing business deals.

Reporting by Olof Swahnberg; editing Niklas Pollard

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