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Johnson Controls to spin off interiors business

Staff writer |
Johnson Controls, Inc. will spin off its $3 billion interiors unit which produces door panels, instrument panels and consoles into a joint venture with Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems Co. of Shanghai.

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JCI will hold a 30 percent stake in the joint venture, while Yanfeng will maintain control with a 70 percent stake. The new partnership will be headquartered in Shanghai and have global sales of $7.5 billion and an estimated 15 percent share of the global automotive interiors market.

Johnson Controls said the noncash transaction will be comprised of asset contributions by the two longtime partners. The deal is subject to limited conditions and is expected to close in the first half of calendar year 2015, JCI said.

"Joining our two interiors businesses is a natural extension of our already very successful existing partnership with Yanfeng in automotive seating, which has flourished over the past 15 years," Alex Molinaroli, Johnson Controls chairman and CEO, said.

The agreement will exclude certain facilities in both Yanfeng and Johnson Controls’ existing networks.

The spinoff will leave Johnson Controls’ automotive division with battery and seating operations, which dominate their segments. The new partnership will allow Johnson Controls to grab a bigger share of China’s fast-growing automotive market, since Yanfeng is well connected.

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