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Key Safety Systems, with China backing, secures funding, closes Takata deal
Reuters | 2018/4/12

Key Safety Systems secured funding to acquire nearly all of airbag maker Takata Corp.'s assets from a group led by its parent Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corp.

The $1.59 billion deal, which is also funded by private equity firm PAG and China's state-owned Future Industry Investment Fund, does not include Takata's liabilities from the recall of ammonium nitrate airbag inflators, Ningbo Joyson said in a statement on Wednesday.

A combination of equity and debt was used to finance and close the deal, Ningbo Joyson said.

Takata's assets will be merged into Key Safety Systems and the combined entity will be called Joyson Safety Systems, with Ningbo Joyson holding a majority stake, the Chinese company said.

The combined company plans to move its global headquarters from Sterling Heights, Mich., to Auburn Hills, Mich., it said in a statement Wednesday.

The acquisition will make Key Safety one of the largest players in the automotive safety market, with more than 50,000 employees in 23 countries and more than $7 billion in revenue.

Takata and its U.S. unit, TK Holdings Inc., filed for bankruptcy last year in the wake of the world's largest automotive safety recall, triggered by airbag inflators that could explode with excessive force, unleashing metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks.

With pressure mounting, the 84-year-old Takata filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan and its U.S. subsidiary, TK Holdings Inc., filed for Chapter 11 protection in Delaware on June 25 in a prepackaged agreement to sell to Key Safety, which beat out nearly a half dozen competitors.

Under the deal, Key Safety management has pledged to maintain Takata's 40,000 employees, with the exception of the troubled ammonium nitrate airbag inflator business, which is expected to shuttered after the sale.

Crain's Detroit Business contributed to this report.

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