Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved an application from ZF Friedrichshafen AG and TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. to sell TRW’s North American and European linkage and suspension business for heavy and light vehicles to the Tokyo-based global machine component manufacturer THK Co., Ltd.
The divestiture was required by the FTC’s June 2015 final order settling charges that the $12.4 billion merger of ZF and TRW – combining two of the world’s largest automotive parts manufacturers – would likely harm competition in the North American market for heavy vehicle tie rods. The parties’ divestiture also addresses competition concerns raised by the European Commission. The linkage and suspension business to be divested includes five manufacturing plants in Michigan, Canada, the Czech Republic, and Germany, and a research and development lab in Germany, which THK will lease from TRW until THK completes its move to new space.
The Commission vote to approve the divestiture was 4-1, with Commissioner Joshua D. Wright voting no. (FTC File No. 141 0235, Docket No. C-4520; the staff contact is Roberta Baruch, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2861)
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