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Updated January 17th, 2024 at 22:21 IST

ZF Friedrichshafen looking to sell or list its airbag unit

The company has cut jobs and is looking to shift to Indian or European markets

IPOs this week
IPOs this week | Image:Freepik
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List or sell: German auto supplier ZF Friedrichshafen is preparing to sell its airbag operations to an interested buyer, or spin the business off in an initial public offering (IPO) but not below its value, the company said on Wednesday.

The company's works council boss Achim Dietrich had earlier told a press conference that an IPO was being prepared since the company was not finding many interested direct buyers for its airbag division.

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ZF has been looking for a buyer for the airbag unit since 2022. The unit notably employs around 35,000 people.

"We are examining both options, a sale or partial sale to an investor or an IPO. ZF will not part with the division at a lower price," as per a company statement.

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The company, however, did not disclose its expectations for a fair price range.

Antitrust hurdles could stand in the way of a sale to competing companies in some cases, Dietrich said.

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The public offering plans come at a time of workers in the company protesting against plans to move jobs abroad.

Dietrich said ZF envisioned the closing of two plants, laying off 12,000 employees in Germany and relocating operations to lower-cost markets like eastern European countries or India.

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ZF was continuing to invest in Germany but also needed to stay competitive by moving jobs abroad, board member Lea Corzilius said in response.

The company did not comment on job cut figures.

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Dietrich said the ZF employees across the country had “anger in their stomachs” over the job cuts and fear for their jobs.

"We lack a strategy, where will ZF be in three years?" said Dietrich.

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(With Reuters Inputs)

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Published January 17th, 2024 at 22:21 IST

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