SAF-HOLLAND acquires the digital trailer management specialist Axscend Ltd.

SAF-HOLLAND acquires the digital trailer management specialist Axscend Ltd.

Luxembourg, July 24, 2018 - The commercial vehicle supplier SAF-HOLLAND has acquired a majority stake in the telematics and connectivity specialist Axscend Ltd. based in Aylesham, UK. The purchase agreement was signed today. With this acquisition, SAF-HOLLAND is strengthening its software and programming expertise and expanding its technology portfolio for digital trailer applications.

SAF-HOLLAND is set to acquire 69.99% of the shares in the logistics service provider effective July 24, 2018, for a purchase price in the mid single-digit million euro range, with an option to acquire the remaining shares in the year 2022. Axscend Ltd. currently employs 10 specialists in the field of engineering, hardware and software development. With its product Trailer Master Connect the company focuses on the digitization of trailer management. Axscend's Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer will remain involved in the company and will continue to run the company in their respective positions in order to speed up the pioneering developments within the SAF-HOLLAND Group and roll them out internationally.

Axscend combines engineering, sensor technology and electronics expertise, together with software programming. The company develops solutions to digitally manage trailers in a comprehensive manner, enabling fleet operators in achieving notable cost reductions and higher fleet efficiency.

With the patented Trailermaster Connect connectivity solution - an intelligent interface for line connection technology and usually equipped with a telematics unit - each semi-trailer can be upgraded or retrofitted to a smart trailer with extensive data-based capabilities.

This technology also allows for data transfer and analyses even when the trailer is uncoupled, enabling fleets to make the most of their resources. Key features that can be integrated include lighting function control, load monitoring and optimization, maintenance condition checks, tire pressure monitoring, EBS data evaluation, patented performance data and an evaluation of braking system performance (which relieves testing in the brake test center in the UK) and GPS data transmission for trailer tracking. Several thousand trailer licenses have already been sold to fleet operators under a license-based model.

SAF-HOLLAND sees an ideal opportunity to combine Axscend's technology with its own chassis systems, particularly for brake system performance monitoring. SAF-HOLLAND expects intelligent applications for trailer management to meet increasing interest from major fleet operators in Europe and North America and sees significant growth potential for Axscend's technology in the years ahead.

"This technology acquisition is right in line with our Smart Steel innovation campaign, which is driving us to make axles smart and provide for the digitization of trailers. We are increasingly integrating sensors and electronics into our mechanical components and are working on issues such as the automated coupling of tractors and trailers in addition to preventive maintenance. Axscend makes trailers intelligent, and its expertise - particularly in the software area - will contribute noticeably in speeding up our development work even more," explains SAF-HOLLAND CEO Detlef Borghardt in his comments on the acquisition.

CFO Dr. Mathias Heiden adds: "Digitalization offers us a tremendous opportunity. Besides gaining valuable know-how and technology input we are also interested in Axscend's subscription-based business model, which has already been a success. This will be an important building block for complementary as well as completely new data-based business models."