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Johnson Controls to buy French automotive textiles maker
14
Oct '10
Johnson Controls, a global leader in automotive seating systems, interior components and electronics, signed a share purchase agreement for the acquisition of Michel Thierry, a highly respected supplier of fabrics and lamination to the automotive industry, with strong R&D and manufacturing capabilities in Europe - primarily in France, Spain and the Czech Republic - and operations worldwide. Michel Thierry's headquarters and main facility are based in Laroque d'Olmes, France.

"The combination of Johnson Controls Automotive Experience and Michel Thierry is a perfect fit. I am convinced that together we create a unique value proposition for our customers and differentiation in the industry," said Dr. Beda Bolzenius, vice president Johnson Controls and president Automotive Experience, on signing the share purchase agreement in Paris.

Johnson Controls further said that the strategic acquisition of the renowned French automotive supplier will position the company as one of the global leaders in textiles and in integrated trim, thus creating opportunities for future business growth. According to the company, Johnson Controls' expertise in cut and sew and Michel Thierry's expertise in fabrics meet customers' increasing demand for integrated services – from fabrics to complete seats – on a global scale. The company also anticipates enhanced innovation opportunities and the potential for further quality optimization by covering the entire process chain with early customer involvement. Finally, the acquisition puts the company in a position to make better use of growth potential in Chinese and North American markets.

Frederic Chaussat, CEO of Michel Thierry said: "This operation marks a very significant step in Michel Thierry's history. With the support of its current shareholders, HTP, a privately-held Dutch investment company, and the French automotive fund FMEA, Michel Thierry has continued to strengthen its leading market position in a difficult industry context and will be well-armed to grow further. Johnson Controls Automotive Experience's strong background opens up unique opportunities to capitalize on our innovation, our manufacturing capabilities and our global reach, to conquer new markets within a well-managed, financially stable and respected global company with a foresighted attitude. We will benefit from this step by becoming part of a strong network of expertise with considerable potential for future growth within the automotive industry."

Michel Thierry's product line includes automotive textiles for seating and for interiors and leather production for seating and interiors. Capabilities include design, development, production, weaving, knitting, lamination, embossing, screen printing, welding and laser punching. 1,700 employees are associated with the business.

Completion of the acquisition, which is subject to customary regulatory approvals, is expected by the end of November 2010.

Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in over 150 countries. Our 130,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. Through our growth strategies and by increasing market share we are committed to delivering value to shareholders and making our customers successful.

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