STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A takeover of Swedish brake systems maker Haldex (HLDX.ST) by Germany’s Knorr-Bremse stands only a slim chance of gaining anti-trust approval, given detailed feedback from European Union regulators, Haldex chairman told Reuters on Monday.
Bidder Knorr-Bremse is continuing to pursue a takeover of Haldex after losing the support of the Swedish company’s management because of expected regulatory opposition.
Knorr-Bremse, which has accumulated a Haldex stake of just under 15 percent, hopes to appeal directly to Haldex shareholders to accept its takeover offer at an extraordinary shareholder meeting.
“As a minority owner, Knorr-Bremse may request an extraordinary general meeting (EGM),” Chairman Jorgen Durban told Reuters in an e-mailed response to questions on Monday.
”What’s more interesting is our assessment that the probability of getting the bid approved by the authorities remains very low regardless of whether or not the Haldex board supports the bid. That will not be changed by an EGM,” Durban also said.
“We have had extensive cooperation with Knorr-Bremse and helped them present a very detailed proposal for the European Competition Authority, much more detailed than usual,” he said.
“That makes the feedback we received from the EU detailed and reliable and it has given the board solid ground for making its decision.”
Knorr-Bremse made a 4.86 billion Swedish crown ($572.44 million) all-cash bid for its Haldex in September, trumping an offer from rival auto supplier ZF Friedrichshafen.
Knorr-Bremse amassed its Haldex stake after outbidding ZF, which already holds a stake of around 20 percent, but has since dropped out of the bidding war.
($1 = 8.4899 Swedish crowns)
Reporting by Johan Sennero. Editing by Andreas Cremer and Jane Merriman