Knorr-Bremse says Haldex comments on U.S. concerns are premature
FRANKFURT, July 7 (Reuters) – German car parts maker Knorr-Bremse said comments by takeover target Haldex, on U.S. anti-trust concerns over its proposed deal, did not lessen its confidence it would succeed in buying the Swedish brake systems maker.
The two companies are at loggerheads after Haldex’s board last week unexpectedly withdrew its support for the German group’s 4.86 billion Swedish crown ($577 million) all-cash bid, citing concerns that regulatory approval was unlikely.
“Rather than publicly commenting on premature conclusions of Haldex about the status of specific discussions with competition authorities, Knorr-Bremse will continue its cooperation with the authorities to assist them in reaching an informed decision on the merits of this transaction,” the firm said on Friday.
Haldex said earlier on Friday that feedback from U.S. authorities reinforced its view, as the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) concerns affected six of its eight product areas and would hit all but one manufacturing facility.
“The divestments will consequently be too extensive to procure competitive solutions that the authority would approve,” saying the only reason for Knorr-Bremse to continue pursuing a deal was to dismantle and eliminate a competitor.
Knorr-Bremse said the DOJ’s feedback was “completely expected” and affirmed it was prepared to offer significant remedies to obtain regulatory clearance for the deal, without providing details on which assets it has offered to divest.
($1 = 8.4247 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)
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