September 12, 2019 / 9:01 AM / 3 months ago

ZF eyes sale of stake in Sweden's Haldex, ending ownership stalemate

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Germany’s ZF Friedrichshafen ZFF.UL said on Thursday it would look to sell its 20% stake in brake systems maker Haldex (HLDX.ST) in a move which could break the ownership deadlock in the Swedish firm dating back to a bidding war in 2017.

Car parts supplier ZF said in a statement it was making good progress with its new strategic focus in the commercial brakes area. “As a result of this, ZF is considering options to divest its stake in Haldex AB, subject to market conditions,” it said.

Haldex was the target of a heated takeover battle between ZF and Knorr-Bremse (KBX.DE) in 2016 and 2017 which failed to end up in a deal and left the two German firms jointly owning around a third of the company, complicating other potential bids.

Shares in Haldex rose 3.0% to 59.40 crowns by 0817 GMT but has still lost more than half of its value since the end of the bid battle between the German rivals.

Haldex is the global number three in brake systems for commercial vehicles behind its far bigger rivals Knorr-Bremse and U.S. Wabco (WBC.N), which ZF agreed to buy earlier this year.

Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom; editing by Niklas Pollard

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