ZF has agreed a deal to buy braking expert WABCO in a deal that will see the combined company generate annual sales in the region of €40bn (£34.4bn).
Best known for its transmissions but a supplier of all manner of control systems, ZF will add WABCO’s expertise in braking, stability control, air suspension and aerodynamics into its portfolio.
The deal values US business WABCO at more than $7bn (£5.3bn). If its shareholders and regulators approve, the purchase should be completed by early next year.
Wolf-Henning Scheider, CEO of ZF, said: “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.
“For ZF the acquisition 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.
The planned acquisition is part of ZF’s Next Generation Mobility strategy, which will increase the company’s expertise in commercial vehicle braking and contribute towards its push into fully autonomous vehicles.
Last year, ZF previewed an autonomous shunter as well as a truck and has been working with several OEMs around control systems for the next phases of autonomous driving, and it has pledged to spend €12bn on research over the next five years.
ZF already has sensor systems and computing technology used for the “see“ and “think” elements of its Next Generation strategy, but together with WABCO, it plans to complete its commercial vehicle technologies to offer solutions that allow vehicles to “act” independently.
Jacques Esculier, chairman and CEO of WABCO, 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.”