Teijin Frontier, the Teijin Group's fibre and products converting company, announced it had agreed to acquire JH Ziegler, a leading supplier of automotive interior materials in Germany, at a cost of approximately EUR125m.

Ziegler will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Teijin Frontier.

The acquisition of Ziegler will be made by means of cash and newly-raised funding, and is scheduled to be completed in August 2018 after confirmation that all customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval, have been met.

Since its establishment in 1864, Ziegler has developed advanced technology in the fields of non-woven seat wadding materials and sound-absorbing composite products. It claims its technology fulfils the most stringent requirements in terms of the appearance, haptic feedback and usability of seat surface materials.

Based in Achern-Oberachern, Germany, Ziegler provides advanced non-woven lining structures, including materials with ventilation capabilities that help prevent wrinkling and keep luxurious appearance of genuine leather materials.

The company also produces sound-absorbing materials and non-wovens for home interior and heat insulation use.

It operates five factories globally, including three in Germany and one each in Hungary and China, and employs approximately 400 staff. It booked sales of over EUR69m in the fiscal year ending 31 December, 2017.

"Through the acquisition of Ziegler, Teijin Frontier will improve its automotive interior materials' production and sales capabilities in Europe, thereby enhancing its presence in the global automotive market and allowing it to increase its enterprise value," Teijin said in a statement.

"To drive the sales of Ziegler products that can meet the growing demand for low-noise electric vehicles (EV) driving environments, Teijin Frontier plans to optimize Ziegler's design and production structures. By utilizing its R&D and production functions of filaments and staple fibres, Teijin Frontier will develop innovative materials that realises higher sound-absorbing property, using its ultra-fine fibres. Teijin Frontier will also seek business synergies by leveraging the production and sales facility of Continental Structural Plastics, a North American hub of the Teijin Group's composite business and Ziegler's sales channels in order to develop new businesses related to automotive interiors and exteriors."

Teijin Frontier integrated Teijin's polyester fibres businesses in April 2017 and has been strengthening its development capabilities through the establishment of a supply chain integrating R&D and raw material and fibre productions with existing textile processing and sewn products supply functions, both for apparel and for industrial applications.

Teijin Frontier has strengthened its business in automotive related fields as one of its core businesses and provides a number of automobile products including high-performance interior materials such as seat fabrics, car roof linings and sound-absorbing surfaces, as well as rubber reinforcement materials such as tyre cord, hose cord, transmission belt cords and airbag base fabrics.

The automotive industry has been radically evolving over recent years with developments such as EV, autonomous cars and car sharing. These developments and the emergence of ever-tighter environmental regulations are driving demand for comfortable and low-noise high-performance automotive indoor environments. Teijin Frontier is expanding its product and sales capabilities in the field of noise-reducing materials by enhancing these with further sound-absorbing, low-noise and sound-insulating functions, all of which will help to realise more comfortable driving.

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