Johnson Controls signs agreement to buy German seating experts Recaro, Keiper

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 2, 2011

As part of efforts to boost its seating business, Johnson Controls Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire German seating expert Keiper and its specialty seat business Recaro. The financial terms of this deal were not released. This deal is actually the second seating-related acquisition by Johnson Controls in Germany for the past month.

Based in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Keiper is a leader in the production of recliner system technology. Johnson Controls said that the acquisition will affect about 4,750 employees in seven countries.

Keiper and Recaro have combined annual revenues of nearly $1 billion, according to Keiper spokesman Tilman Schafer. Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and General Motors are among Keiper’s customers.

Meanwhile, Recaro’s major customers include Ford, Volkswagen, Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Mini, Aston Martin, Cadillac and Honda. Not included in this deal are Keiper's Brazilian operations. In a statement, Beda Bolzenius, head of Johnson Controls' automotive operations, said that the addition of the Keiper and Recaro brands “further strengthens [its] metal components and mechanisms business.”

He said that Johnson Controls intends to leverage the purchase across its seat component portfolio, and to have its expansion in China and North America. Keiper designs and manufactures metal seat components, structures and mechanisms.

Its product lineup includes mechanisms that adjust seat length and height, recliners that adjust the backrest position of vehicle seats, and rear seat latches. Recaro's automotive sport and specialty seat portfolio are also included in the acquisition. [via autonews - sub. required]

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