FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany — ZF Friedrichshafen AG, a global technology group and supplier of mobility systems for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and industrial technology, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Wabco for $136.50 per share.
The planned acquisition has been approved by ZF’s management board and supervisory board and Wabco’s board of directors.
Together, ZF and Wabco will form a global integrated mobility systems provider for commercial vehicles, creating added value for ZF’s commercial vehicle customers. The combined company will have sales of approximately $44 billion.
Wabco is a global supplier of braking control systems, technologies and services that are designed to improve safety, efficiency and connectivity of commercial vehicles including trucks, buses and trailers.
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 generated $3.7 billion in revenues in 2018 and has some 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, creating long-term value and security for its customers, employees and owners,” 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.”
Jacques Esculier, chairman and CEO of Wabco said joining forces with ZF will create a leading global technology company well positioned to capitalize 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.
Scheider 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 for the first time.
“This plays a central role for the control of automated driving functions – including emergency braking maneuvers of trucks and trailers,” he said.
Following the acquisition, customers of both companies will have a partner in ZF who can offer them a fully integrated system approach, new drive systems for E-Mobility and autonomous driving functions, the company said in a news release, adding that ZD 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, making ZF less dependent on the economic cycle of the passenger car industry.
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.