Lear Corporation (NYSE: Lea) today announced the sale of its sealants and foam rubber business to AcoustiSeal, a subsidiary of GSC Industries, Inc., for $92.5 million. Lear will use the net cash proceeds from the sale to repurchase its common stock and repay debt.
Lear acquired the sealants and foam rubber operations through its acquisitions of United Technologies Automotive in 1999 and Masland Industries in 1996. The agreement includes a sales and engineering office in Troy, Mich. and two production facilities, one located in Kansas City and another in St. Louis, Mo., which employ a combined workforce of approximately 600. The plants manufacture and fabricate foam rubber, vibration damping materials and body structure sealing materials, with annual sales of approximately $100 million.
“Since sealants and foam rubber are non-core products, the sale is in line with our strategy to divest such assets and use the proceeds to support our ongoing efforts to maximize shareholder value,” said Kenneth L. Way, Lear Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “The sale demonstrates our commitment to the interior and electronic systems strategy, which is instrumental in our role as the premier automotive interiors integrator serving light vehicle manufacturers worldwide.”
GSC Industries, Inc. is an Indianapolis, Ind.-based minority supplier of automotive precision steel components to the North American automotive industry with 1999 sales of $25 million.
Lear Corporation, a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Southfield, Mich., is one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, with 1999 sales of $12.4 billion. The company’s world-class products are designed, engineered and manufactured by more than 120,000 employees in over 300 facilities located in 33 countries. Information about Lear and its products is available on the Internet at www.lear.com