ZF signs definitive agreement to acquire WABCO

4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMarch 29, 2019

ZF Friedrichshafen AG, a leading global technology group and supplier of mobility systems for vehicles and industrial technology, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire WABCO for US$136.50 per share. Together, ZF and WABCO will form a leading global integrated mobility systems provider for commercial vehicles. The combined company will have sales of approximately €40 billion.

WABCO is a leading global supplier of braking control systems. Its diverse products and services include integrated braking systems and stability control, air suspension systems, transmission automation controls, as well as aerodynamics, telematics, and fleet management solutions. WABCO, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, generated €3.3 billion in revenue in 2018 and has 16,000 employees in 40 countries.

“We believe that, together with WABCO, ZF can form the world‘s leading integrated systems provider for commercial vehicle technology,” said Wolf-Henning Scheider, CEO of ZF. “For ZF the acquisition of a specialist and leader for commercial vehicle braking systems means adding a stable and growing business segment and enables our existing commercial vehicle division to expand its expertise in vehicle dynamics control. This will create the foundation for ZF to offer comprehensive systems for safe and automated mobility solutions for passengers and goods to our customers.”

WABCO chairman and CEO Jacques Esculier said joining forces with ZF will create a leading global technology company well positioned to capitalise on future demand for autonomous, efficient and connected commercial vehicles.

“We have a long history of successful collaboration to develop innovative technologies with ZF, with both companies sharing an uncompromising drive for excellence, passion for innovation, and exceptional customer focus,” he said.

The planned acquisition is part of ZF‘s Next Generation Mobility strategy and will expand the company‘s expertise to include commercial vehicle braking solutions, which play a central role for the control of automated driving functions. ZF expects that automated driving functions will primarily be implemented for commercial vehicles and in areas with low complexity and traffic (e.g. factory sites, airports, agriculture). The combination of both businesses is expected to further accelerate the development of new technologies to enable autonomous commercial vehicle functions.

The planned strategic acquisition of WABCO is consistent with ZF‘s goal to develop and deliver technology solutions that make cars and commercial vehicles see, think and act in order to reduce emissions and increase road safety. While ZF already has sensor systems and computing technology for its ‘see‘ and ‘think‘ competence, together with WABCO, ZF will in future be completing the portfolio for commercial vehicle technologies to offer solutions to allow vehicles to ‘act‘. ZF is already a leading supplier in the area of steering and driveline technology.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, other customary closing conditions and shareholder approval with more than 50 percent of WABCO‘s outstanding shares. ZF expects to close the transaction in the beginning of 2020.