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ZF Friedrichshafen may go on acquisition spree after TRW deal

ZF Friedrichshafen would consider another acquisition – particularly for its industrial and trucking businesses -- after agreeing to acquire TRW Automotive Holdings for $13.5 billion. This was disclosed by ZF chief executive Stefan Sommer, who said that another acquisition the size of TRW is unlikely.

He and TRW CEO John Plant have remarked that carmakers moving to global platforms and are looking for suppliers having the technology and the ability to provide it wherever needed. Suppliers are feeling the pressure to develop advanced components from carmakers who are actively seeking for safety features and driverless vehicles that respond wireless road data.

Plant remarked there is a “big burden” on supplier to engineer technology needed for autonomous and connected cars. He noted that a middle-sized company cannot afford to achieve such feat, but only a select few could in the future.

Read the entire article ZF Friedrichshafen may go on acquisition spree after TRW deal

Robert Bosch is silent beneficiary of ZF’s TRW takeover

With ZF Friedrichshafen's planned acquisition of TRW Automotive on full blast, another German supplier is bound to benefit from the transaction, albeit unexpectedly. Bosch recently announced plans to gain full control of its 50-50 steering joint venture with ZF.

That came after Bosch’s partner disclosed intentions to sell its stake in the joint venture – which build electronic steering systems critical to development of driverless cars – to the largest supplier in the world and purchase TRW for $105.60 a share. ZF has to let go of its holdings in the joint venture, ZF Lenksysteme, to avoid antitrust issues in the acquisition of TRW.

ZF doesn’t have to worry about losing a place in the steering segment since TRW also has a steering systems business largely involved in developing technology that could pave way for autonomous driving. ZF will have to pay TRW around $12.4 billion in cold cash, based on equity value.

Read the entire article Robert Bosch is silent beneficiary of ZF’s TRW takeover

ZF Friedrichshafen agrees to buy TRW for $12.4 billion cash

ZF Friedrichshafen has inked an agreement to acquire TRW Automotive Holdings for $105.60 per share, paving way for the creation of second-largest auto supplier in the world. The companies have a pro forma combined revenue of around EUR30 billion ($41 billion) and 138,000 employees. Under the terms of the agreement, ZF will acquire TRW for around $12.4 billion in an all-cash transaction.

TRW said in a press release that ZF would purchase all of its outstanding shares in an agreement worth $13.5 billion on an enterprise value basis. ZF is offering to acquire the share at a price higher than TRW’s closing price on July 9. The price is also almost eightfold of TRW's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization for the year ended June 2014.

The agreement is expected to be finalized by the first quarter of 2015. It should also first receive a go-signal from TRW’s shareholders at a special meeting. TRW said in a statement that the combined company will be well-positioned to take advantage of on “favorable megatrends” in the auto industry by bringing together complementary product offerings and leading technology positions.

Read the entire article ZF Friedrichshafen agrees to buy TRW for $12.4 billion cash

Talks over Bosch venture exit stalling ZF’s acquisition of TRW Automotive

ZF Friedrichshafen is aiming to become the second-largest parts supplier in the world, but that target is being put on hold by negotiations to exit a joint venture with Robert Bosch, people privy with the matter told Bloomberg. ZF is seeking to sell its stake in the joint venture before it could complete an agreement to acquire TRW Automotive Holdings.

Breaking down the partnership, however, is complex and several key parties are away for summer holidays, the sources said. ZF wants to close the deal with TRW in the first half of September, the people told Bloomberg. ZF and TRW have discussed a sale at a price of around $105 to $110 per share, although the final amount is still under negotiations.

In July, ZF and its advisers at Citigroup Inc. and other banks had been exploring a proposal that values TRW at between $110 and $112.50 per share, two people told Bloomberg last month.

Read the entire article Talks over Bosch venture exit stalling ZF’s acquisition of TRW Automotive

The supervisory board of ZF Friedrichshafen has given a go-signal to discussions to acquire TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. two people privy with the matter told Bloomberg. The board has allowed the company to continue negotiations with TRW, with target to strike an agreement over the next few weeks, the sources said, with one of them adding that no final decision has been reached and discussions could still break down.

ZF recently confirmed that it is holding talks with TRW over an acquisition, which if successful would pave way to the creation of the second-largest auto-parts supplier in the world in terms of sales.

Reuters has reported that ZF could offer up to $12 billion for TRW, which has a market value of $11.3 billion. Reuters also reported that ZF is lining up $13.4 billion in financing for the acquisition.

Read the entire article ZF Friedrichshafen supervisory board okays acquisition talks with TRW

TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. reported $199 million or $1.68 per diluted share in net earnings in the first quarter of 2014 (GAAP), compared to $162 million or $1.29 per diluted share in the same period in 2013. Excluding special items, TRW logged a 20-percent rise in earnings to $215 million, or $1.81 per diluted share, from $1.51 per diluted share in the prior year period.

In terms of revenues, the company posted a 5-percent boost to $4.4 billion. John C. Plant, chairman and chief executive, remarked that the company was off to a strong start this year, thanks to increasing global demand for TRW's safety technologies, particularly in China where sales surged 16 percent year-on-year. He also cited hiked vehicle production in each of TRW’s major regions.

The higher level of sales was also driven by the positive impact of currency movements between the two quarterly periods. However, currency-related gains were partially offset by the negative effects of exiting certain businesses within its North American brake component and assembly operations.

Read the entire article TRW Automotive logs $199 million in first-quarter 2014 net income

TRW Automotive Holdings is opening this year a new airbag sewing site in Roman, Romania, as it tries to meet its anticipated growth in demand for airbag cushions in the next five years. "By 2018, we expect that an additional 12 million sewn bags will be needed,” Frank Mueller, TRW vice president and general manager for global occupant safety systems, said in a statement.

“The new facility will support our airbag plants across Europe," Mueller added. The Roman site is expected to have 400 employees by the end of 2014 and up to 1,000 workers by 2017. The Roman site underscores growing interest in Romania from both suppliers and carmakers.

TRW opened a steering-wheel leather wrapping plant at Timisoara in 2004 and a similar plant in Baia Mare in January 2012. TRW also operates sites in Oravita, Lupeni and Marghita, where its operations cover die casting, foaming and airbag production. Lear Corp. is also opening a new seating plant in Iasi this month, which will be home to around 1,500 workers.

Read the entire article TRW to open new airbag sewing site in Roman, Romania

An ongoing row between and General Motors Co. and TRW Automotive Inc. may result to the termination of a $700-million brake component contract in Saginaw, Michigan, sources told Crain's Detroit Business, an affiliate of Automotive News. In September, TRW said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it ended a brake component contract -- representing $700 million in revenue and 6.5 percent margins in 2012 -- with an undisclosed customer.

Although TRW declined to discuss the contract or identify the location of site involved, sources privy with the contract told Crain's Detroit Business that the supply deal is between TRW and GM. They added that the deal involves brake assemblies supplied from TRW's East Genesee Road site in Saginaw. Crain's TRW chief executive John Plant told investors in a conference call that pricing may have been issue in the terminated contract.

Plant said that TRW's customers have a view about the price point they feel they want to pay for certain components. He said that such pricing sometimes coincides and sometimes does not with TRW's price point. Plant quipped that they have to assess where their competitive situation is or where their position assets are at.

Read the entire article Conflict between TRW and GM may end $700mil brake parts contract

Production of the new electronic horn system from TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. will begin in late 2014. An unnamed European automaker would likely be the first to use the system. Since the conventional horn systems use numerous components, they could be bulky and costly. TRW expects that this new technology will resolve many issues and it will also be getting a better look.

According to Guido Hirzmann, group leader of new technology and mechatronics, several automakers worldwide have expressed an interest in the system. In an e-mail, Hirzmann said that TRW is working with multiple OEMs around the world. All of them hope to improve their quality challenges.

Drivers can make the horn sound without having to use force since the airbag cover can sense the position of a finger or hand and an electronic signal could then be sent. TRW said that accidental horn activation could be avoided since it could sense if a hand is getting near accidentally from the side or intentionally from the top.

Read the entire article TRW to introduce new electric horn system in late 2014

A $5.1 million criminal fine will have to be paid by TRW Deutschland Holding GmbH -- a German subsidiary of TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. -- as it has agreed to enter a guilty plea to getting involved in a conspiracy on the prices of air bags, steering wheels and seatbelts, according to the Justice Department and the company.

The investigation of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division into this matter has resulted to settlements with six other companies. The European Commission has a parallel investigation. It’s possible that an employee at this subsidiary will face U.S. prosecution. The TRW subsidiary will plead guilty to one count of price-fixing in the U.S. District Court in Detroit.

According to the department, TRW and other companies have agreed to break up the market for seat belts, airbags and steering wheels so that they may be sold at elevated prices. TRW Automotive Chairman and CEO John Plant released a statement, asserting that the actions related to the DOJ settlement is in conflict with what TRW stands for and are not consistent with its policies.

Read the entire article TRW to pay a $5.1 million fine to settle U.S. price-fixing

Safety systems supplier TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. revealed that it has entered new contracts for its electronic steering systems software with European and North American companies such as Ford Motor Co. for its Fiesta, C-Max, and Focus.

TRW didn’t release the values of these contracts. TRW’s programmable software features several functions such as recognizing if a vehicle is drifting from its lane and making adjustments automatically, lessening vibration in the steering wheel due to uneven roads, and automatic parallel parking.

The car’s handling will also be improved as the software will enable the driver to adjust the vehicle’s steering system. It allows for a “city mode” that would mean that the driver will need to exert only minimal effort to turn the wheel.

Read the entire article TRW signs new contracts for its electronic steering systems software

A roof airbag product is now being offered by TRW Automotive Holding Corp. that provides more room for interior styling than the regular instrument panel airbags.

The passenger-side airbag (typically found in the instrument panel) won’t be required anymore since the “bag in roof” airbag system deploys one airbag from the roof. This protects both driver and passenger. In a statement, TRW said that installing this system will increase space and considerably reduce dashboard production costs.

Dirk Schultz, engineering director for TRW's Inflatable Restraint Systems, said that occupant safety systems are now “increasingly versatile.” He added that with the focus on avoiding road deaths and injuries, the company has decided to find new ways to protect the occupants even further.

Read the entire article TRW unveils ‘bag in roof’ airbag system

As carmakers raised their production to cope with demand, TRW Automotive Holdings Corp.’s quarterly profit more than tripled. TRW raised its full-year sales forecast and said that the recovery observed in the overall auto industry will be able to support a strong year for the company.

In the third quarter, net income increased to $199 million, or $1.54 per share, from $56 million, or 50 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, TRW posted earnings of $1.47 per share. Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S said that on this basis, analysts on average had anticipated 78 cents. Revenue had climbed by 10% to $3.4 billion, higher than the $3.15 billion that analysts predicted.

Read the entire article TRW’s quarterly profit more than tripled to $199 million
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