Bosch to take over ZF Lenksysteme

Bosch is planning to increase its stake in PCV steering wheel manufacturer, ZF Lenksysteme GmbH (ZFLS), to 100%. The transaction is subject to approval by the antitrust authorities. The purchase price will not be disclosed. Up to now, German based ZFLS has been a 50:50 joint venture between Bosch and ZF. Employing over 13,000 associates in eight countries, ZFLS develops, produces and sells steering systems for passenger cars and CVs (including buses and coaches) worldwide. In 2013, it registered sales of approximately €4.1bn/£3.26bn. Earlier this month, ZF Lenksysteme opened its second production site in Hungary.

CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen AG, Dr. Stefan Sommer, said, ‘Since 1999, ZFLS has experienced strong growth, and has also developed very successfully as a result of the excellent collaboration between ZF and Bosch. I would like to sincerely thank all ZFLS associates for their hard work and dedication over the years. In order to continue to be able to meet the demands of an ever more dynamic business environment, Bosch and ZF have decided to change the ownership structure of ZFLS.’

Chairman of the Board of Management of Robert Bosch GmbH, Dr. Volkmar Denner, said, ‘With its complete takeover of ZFLS, Bosch is strengthening its ability to actively shape the future of mobility. The company is a technological leader in the growth area of electric power steering, and precisely this is the core technology for automated driving, for more efficient vehicles, and also for electric cars.’

ZF to acquire TRW

ZF Friedrichshafen AG and TRW Automotive Holdings Corp have entered into a definitive agreement under which ZF will acquire TRW. The combined company will have combined sales of about €30bn/£23.92bn and 138,000 employees. ZF is a global player in driveline and chassis technology with 122 production companies in 26 countries. It is well known in the bus and coach industry for its transmissions, axles and steering gear. TRW Automotive provides integrated vehicle control and systems for driver assist, braking, steering, suspension, occupant safety (seat belts and airbags), electronics, engine components and fastening, as well as aftermarket replacement parts and services.

ZF will acquire TRW in an all cash transaction valued at approximately $12.4bn/£7.64bn based on equity value. The transaction is subject to several customary closing conditions, including antitrust and US foreign investment clearance and the approval of TRW’s stockholders representing more than 50% of TRW’s outstanding shares. ZF expects the transaction to close in the first half of 2015. With the acquisition of TRW, ZF believes it would more than double its sales in two of the most significant countries of the world for automotive sales: China and the United States. It is expected that together, ZF and TRW will be uniquely positioned to ‘benefit from the megatrends of the automotive industry on a global basis’.

Chief Executive Officer of ZF, Stefan Sommer, said, ‘The acquisition of TRW fits perfectly into our long term strategy. The transaction combines two highly successful companies that have remarkable track records of innovation and growth and solid financial positions. We are strengthening our future prospects by enlarging our product portfolio with acknowledged technologies in the most attractive segments. This is an acquisition in the spirit of a partnership. We look forward to welcoming TRW’s employees to our company and are committed to working closely with them to realize the potential of this exciting combination. The Detroit metro area will remain a major business center for the company and we expect employees from both companies to benefit from the enhanced career opportunities at a larger, more diversified company.’

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