Germany's ZF in advanced talks to buy TRW for near $12 bln-sources

NEW YORK/FRANKFURT, July 30 Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:01pm EDT

NEW YORK/FRANKFURT, July 30 (Reuters) - Germany's ZF Friedrichshafen AG is in advanced talks to acquire U.S.-based TRW Automotive Holdings Corp for nearly $12 billion, in a deal that would create an automotive supply powerhouse, people familiar with the matter said.

ZF, which is lining up roughly 10 billion euros ($13.4 billion) in debt financing, is in talks to pay around $105 per TRW share, the people said, just above its current stock price and valuing the company at close to $12 billion based on shares outstanding.

A deal at that price level would represent a multiple of about 7.5 times TRW's estimated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization in 2014, making it one of the most expensive takeovers in the auto parts sector, the people said on Wednesday.

Discussions are continuing and the two sides have yet to negotiate a final price and other terms, the people said. The companies are hoping to reach an agreement in a matter of weeks but there is no guarantee one will be struck, the people added.

All the people asked not to be named because the discussions are private. Representatives for ZF and TRW declined to comment. (Reporting by Soyoung Kim in New York, Arno Schuetze and Edward Taylor in Frankfurt; Editing by Tom Brown)