Auto Service World
News   September 14, 2006   by Auto Service World

WL Ross Goes Shopping Again


Wilbur Ross announced today the acquisition of two automotive suppliers, Mitsuboshi Belting Kaseihin Co., Ltd. (“MBK”) from Tokyo Stock Exchange listed Mitsuboshi Belting, Ltd. and BST Safety Textiles GmbH (“BST”), formerly Berger Safety Textiles, Maulburg, Germany, from PPM Capital, the private equity division of Prudential plc, for a total price of $305 million, subject to normal closing adjustments.
MBK employs 742 people in two Komaki City factories and one factory in Yokosuka City, Japan.
MBK supplies instrument panels, cockpits and other plastic products for automotive interiors to all of the Japanese automobile companies.
The company also licenses its technology to Tong Yang Industry Co. Ltd. in Taipei, Taiwan for use in China.
Mr. Ross said, “This acquisition by International Automotive Components Group Japan, our joint venture with Franklin Mutual Advisers, is the first by a Western auto supplier of a major Japanese automotive interiors and exteriors company.”
BST is a leading international manufacturer of flat and one piece woven (“OPW”) fabrics for automotive air bags as well as for seat belts and commercial webbing.
BST employs 1,250 people in four facilities in southern Germany, a facility in Poland as well as two facilities in Virginia in the United States and has proprietary technology for creating the OPW fabrics used for side curtain and rollover airbags. BST revenues are Euro 220 million per year and MBK’s are 19 billion Yen per year.
International Automotive Components Group owns 56.5% of PLASCAR, a leading Brazilian automotive plastics company, as well as the former Collins and Aikman Europe, which in turn expects to complete the previously announced purchase of Lear Corporation’s European Interior Systems Division early in October.
WL Ross also owns 76% of Safety Components International Inc., an independent supplier of air bag fabrics and air bag cushions from plants in the U.S., Mexico, Europe, China, and South Africa.
Mr. Ross added, “There are major synergies between these safety companies and our existing textile operations conducted through International Textile Group.”
WL Ross & Co has sponsored more than $4 billion of private equity transactions in the steel, coal, textile, auto supply and insurance industries since its founding on April 1, 2000.


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