Knorr-Bremse raises the stakes in battle for Haldex

The bidding war for Swedish braking specialist Haldex has further intensified over the weekend, with one of two remaining bidders, German company Knorr-Bremse, announcing it has raised its stake in Haldex to 14.9 per cent.

Haldex has strongly recommended shareholders accept ZF's 120 crown per share bid despite it being lower than Knorr's 125 crown bid, citing possible antitrust concerns with a takeover by Knorr-Bremse, Reuters reported.

The Knorr-Bremse offer would only be valid if it was able to obtain more than 50 per cent of Haldex shares. ZF, meanwhile, already controls some 21 per cent of Haldex’s total share capital.

Knorr-Bremse, which bought the additional 3.56 per cent stake from Swedish investment manager Carnegie Fonder at 125 crowns per share, also changed its terms for the bid entitling shareholders to compensation in case of a new higher offer, said Reuters.

“The acquisition of a further stake in Haldex again confirms the attractiveness of our offer to the shareholders of the company. It reflects the positive feedback from investors which we received over the last days”, Knorr-Bremse Chief Executive, Klaus Deller, said in a statement reported by Reuters.

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