ELYRIA, Ohio — Knorr-Bremse AG, the parent company of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, announced on Thursday that it is acquiring commercial vehicle steering technology supplier R.H. Sheppard Co.

Knorr-Bremse AG, a global supplier of braking systems for rail and commercial vehicle systems, has entered into a definitive agreement to buy R.H. Sheppard Co. (Sheppard) from braking control systems supplier Wabco for $149.5 million, according to a news release from Bendix. The acquisition will be carried out by Bendix, which is an indirect subsidiary of Knorr-Bremse, and supplies active safety technologies, energy management solutions, air brake charging, and control systems and components.

The acquisition is subject to closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is contingent upon the closing of ZF Friedrichshafen AG’s acquisition of Wabco. ZF is a global supplier of driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology.

The move follows the spring 2019 acquisition of the commercial vehicle steering division of Hitachi Automotive Systems in Japan by Knorr-Bremse and helps cement the company’s position as a global supplier of integrated steering and braking systems as a basis for driver assistance systems and highly automated driving, according to Bendix.

“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,” said Dr. Peter Laier, member of the executive board of Knorr-Bremse.

Laier, who is also responsible for Knorr-Bremse's commercial vehicle systems division, added that with integrated steering and braking systems for commercial vehicles, Knorr-Bremse "can realize globally expanded functions in driver assistance and automated driving together with our customers and leverage cost potential through system integration.”

“For Bendix and the North American marketplace in particular, this is a strong combination of two market leaders and an ideal addition to our evolving product and solutions portfolio,” said Michael J. Hawthorne, Bendix’s president and CEO. “The Sheppard product portfolio will further enable us to better respond to the requirements of North American customers in the different market segments and to offer tailor-made system solutions for the full range North American commercial vehicles.”

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