Key Safety Systems (KSS) has entered into a definitive agreement to merge with Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corporation (Joyson). 

The combination will create an automotive supplier business with pro forma combined worldwide sales of around US$3bn and 20,000 employees. Joyson is a multi-national company publicly listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Under the terms of the Merger Agreement, Joyson will acquire outstanding shares of KSS in a cash transaction valued at around US$920m on an equity value basis. 

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2016, and is subject to regulatory filings, approvals and other customary closing conditions.

KSS is currently owned by funds managed by FountainVest Partners, a Hong Kong-based private equity firm, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Crestview Partners, a New York based private equity firm, along with members of KSS management. 

Joyson says KSS will operate as an independent group company, which will maintain its Michigan headquarters and continue to be led by current KSS CEO, Jason Luo.

“In partnership with FountainVest and Crestview, KSS has expanded its market and achieved best-in-sector 20% revenue CAGR,” said Luo. 

“We look forward to merging with Joyson and further accelerating the business with even faster growth in the future.”