Knorr-Bremse, a global provider of braking and other systems for rail and commercial vehicles, strengthens its position in steering systems for commercial vehicles through an agreement to acquire R.H. Sheppard Co. Inc., USA. Sheppard is one of the leading manufacturers of steering systems for commercial vehicles on the North American market. With the acquisition of Sheppard, Knorr-Bremse is broadening its international position in the field of steering systems, having already achieved a major expansion in Asia with the acquisition of the commercial vehicle steering division of Hitachi Automotive Systems in Japan in spring 2019.
Knorr-Bremse will acquire Sheppard from WABCO Holdings Inc., USA (WABCO) which is selling Sheppard in connection with the proposed takeover of WABCO by ZF Friedrichshafen AG (ZF). The agreed purchase price was $149.5 million USD. The closing of the acquisition of Sheppard by Knorr-Bremse is subject to closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is contingent upon the closing of the ZF acquisition of WABCO. Closing is expected in the first half of 2020.
“For Knorr-Bremse the acquisition of Sheppard is another important step in our strategy to become a global manufacturer of steering systems for commercial vehicles. With integrated steering and braking systems for commercial vehicles, we can realize globally expanded functions in driver assistance and automated driving together with our customers and leverage cost potential through system integration,” said Dr. Peter Laier, member of the executive board of Knorr-Bremse AG responsible for the Commercial Vehicle Systems division.
The acquisition will be carried out by Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, Elyria, USA, an indirect subsidiary of Knorr-Bremse AG and part of the Commercial Vehicle Systems Division. In 2018, Sheppard generated sales of around $146 million and employed around 800 people.
“Sheppard is an ideal addition to the product portfolio. As a leading commercial vehicle supplier in North America, Bendix will be even better able to respond to the requirements of North American customers in the different market segments. This is how tailor-made system solutions for North American trucks and buses become possible,” said Michael Hawthorne, Bendix president and CEO.