Piston Group acquires interior business from Takata
Takata is mired in a financial crisis stemming from a recall of millions of faulty air bags linked to at least 13 deaths worldwide.
Redford-based Piston Group on Wednesday purchased Irvin Automotive from ailing Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata, giving the auto supplier founded by former Detroit Piston Vinnie Johnson a broader product line and new customers.
The deal is the first acquisition for Johnson, who has grown Piston Group through a series of joint ventures with automakers and larger suppliers.
"We got the deal done. We’ve been working on it for about eight or nine months and we are very excited about it. We think it’s a great addition for the Piston Group," Johnson said.
By buying Irvin, Piston Group's annual sales will grow from $1.3 billion to $1.8 billion. It also gives Piston a foothold in the airline industry because Irvin makes seat covers for Delta Airlines and Southwest Airlines.
Headquartered in Pontiac, Irvin makes seat covers, sun visors, armrests and cargo shades for several major automakers and airlines. With annual sales of $500 million, Irvin employs 7,100 people and operates plants in Del Rio, Texas; Acuna, Mexico, and Sabinas, Mexico.
Takata, one of the world's largest airbag suppliers, is mired in a financial crisis stemming from a recall of tens of millions of faulty air bags linked to at least 13 deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide.
In May, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that automakers agreed to recall vehicles with an estimated 35 million-40 million airbag inflators. That recall is in addition to 28.8 million inflators previously recalled.
"For Takata, this transaction gives us additional financial flexibility and enables us to focus on our safety operations, with a particular focus on managing the complex, global airbag recalls alongside our automotive customers and regulators," Shigehisa Takada, chairman and CEO of Takata said in a news release.
Takata said Moelis & Co. and SMBC Nikko Securities helped to put the deal together.
Johnson declined to say how much Piston Group paid to buy Irvin. He did say Irvin will operate as a separate company within Piston Group and said Irvin President Joseph Finn will continue to lead the company.
Founded in 1995, Piston Group's customers include Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Toyota and ZF. Piston Group has 8,300 employees at 15 plants in the U.S. and Mexico. Other companies in the group include Piston Automotive, Detroit Thermal Systems and AIREA Inc.