ZF Friedrichshafen

Cruise Control on Buy?

ZF lässt Nutzfahrzeuge sehen, denken und handeln
CEO Stefan Sommer knows how to make a deal. Source: obs / ZF Friedrichshafen AG

Car parts supplier ZF Friedrichshafen made a quantum leap when it bought US rival TRW in 2015 for $12 billion, propelling it to the industry’s top three. Its chairman, Giorgio Behr, told Handelsblatt the foundation-owned company might pull off another big deal.

“We are now in a position to make acquisitions, and we may again go for something on a large scale,” said Mr. Behr, who rarely gives interviews. ZF has reduced its debt pile quicker than expected, possesses the necessary financial resources and has the capacity to integrate acquisitions into ZF’s operations, the non-executive chairman said. He refused to give details of which companies ZF was eying, but he did say: “We are strong in the truck parts business, but have not quite reached the size we’d like to have.”

New York-listed Wabco, a major supplier of truck parts, said in July it had received an acquisition offer, but a deal fell through after the buyer’s board did not approve it. Wabco, worth $7.8 billion, did not disclose the bidder, but the Wall Street Journal, citing sources, reported at the time it was ZF.

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