Visteon to sell Halla Climate Unit
Visteon Corp. will sell a majority stake in Halla Visteon Climate Control Corp. to South Korea’s Hankook Tire Co. and its investment partner for $3.6 billion, to focus on connected-vehicle solutions and cockpit electronics.
Visteon is selling its 70 percent interest in Halla Visteon to Seoul-based Hankook and private-equity partner Hahn & Co., according to a statement from the Van Buren-based auto-parts maker Wednesday.
Visteon, which exited bankruptcy in 2010, sold its climate business to Halla Climate Control in 2013, retaining a stake. The autoparts maker, which has also been exploring the possibility of splitting in two, is focusing on connected cars as in-vehicle technology is the top selling point for 39 percent of car buyers, according to an Accenture study.
“Suppliers are all trying to focus on the higher margin parts and climate control just isn’t, on a long-term basis, a high-margin part,” Gregory Coppola, managing director of Alderney Advisors, a Southfield firm that works with auto suppliers, said in an interview.
Hankook’s partnership with Hahn & Co. to jointly purchase Visteon’s stake was described as a “win-win” situation for both Hankook and Halla Climate by Shin Chung Kwan, an analyst at KB Investment & Securities Co., before the deal was announced.
The transaction represents an enterprise value for HVCC of approximately 10.1 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, according to the statement. The deal is subject to regulatory review and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2015.