The Timken Company has announced the sale of Timken Precision Components - Europe to a group of investors made up of the unit's current management team members. The business serves customers in Europe's automotive sector and bearing industry and had 2005 sales of EUR23.3m ($US28.8m).

Timken Precision Components - Europe produces precision-machined steel components for automotive transmissions and airbags, along with components for industrial bearings, at two facilities in France. The Fougeres plant manufactures high-volume components and the Marnaz facility produces low- and medium-volume components. The plants currently employ approximately 120 people.

"Selling this business to the local management team will result in new growth opportunities for the operation. It is also consistent with our goal to focus the steel group on our core alloy and steel components business as part of Timken's broader strategy to drive profitable growth," said Cengiz Kurkcu, president - Precision Steel Components.

"Timken will continue to purchase products and services from the newly independent business and will work closely with the new owners during the transition."