Takata taps KSS as final bidder for restructuring deal: sources

Fri Feb 3, 2017 11:45pm EST
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By Maki Shiraki and Paul Lienert

TOKYO/DETROIT (Reuters) - Takata Corp (7312.T: Quote) has selected Chinese-owned Key Safety Systems (KSS), a U.S.-based auto parts supplier, as the final bidder to extend financial support for the Japanese airbag maker, three sources with knowledge of the process have told Reuters.

The steering committee leading the selection process told Takata's automaker clients that it has tapped KSS, owned by China's Ningbo Joyson (600699.SS: Quote), to provide financial support for the company, the sources told Reuters on Saturday. Both Takata and KSS declined to comment.

Takata has been seeking financial backers through the selection process to help it deal with billions of dollars in costs related to the recall of millions of potentially defective airbag inflators that have been linked to at least 16 deaths globally.

Previously, Reuters and other media had reported that autoparts suppliers including Sweden's Autoliv Inc (ALV.N: Quote) had been in the running to bid for Takata.

Takata set up a steering committee last year to lead the process of finding a backer, appointing investment bank Lazard ltd (LAZ.N: Quote) as an advisor on the search.

Established in 2004, Ningbo Joyson produces a range of car parts from steering wheels to electronic control units, and counts automakers Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE: Quote), Ford Motor Co (F.N: Quote), and General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote) among its customers. It has been expanding its global operations, acquiring German supplier Preh Group in 2011 and KSS last year.

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FILE PHOTO -  A logo of Takata Corp is seen with its display as people are reflected in a window at a showroom for vehicles in Tokyo, November 6, 2015. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo