UK-based GKN plc has entered into "exclusive discussions" with Visteon Corporation to consider acquiring some of the previously-Ford-owned component maker's European and South American assets and liabilities.

In a statement, GKN said these are related exclusively to Visteon's driveline business at plants in Düren, Germany, Praszka, Poland, and Swansea, Wales.

Driveline assets at Visteon's Arbor plant, Sao Paulo, Brazil are also included and total revenue of these businesses is approximately GBP200m.

The Associated Press News agency noted that the move, if completed, would be a key piece of Visteon's restructuring plan to sell or close non-core and underperforming assets.

GKN has said on previous occasions that it's looking to make further aerospace and automotive driveline acquisitions, AP added.

The report added that, like several other suppliers, Visteon is under pressure as production from its main US customers has declined sharply in the second half of the year, slowing some of its turnaround momentum, as the supplier reported third-quarter results short of expectations and reduced its operating earnings and cash-flow estimates for 2006.

The company had, however, returned to net profits in the first and second quarters, AP noted.

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