Chinese company may be interested in Takata

By Paul Welitzkin in New York | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-02-16 11:58

A US company that is the fourth-largest airbag manufacturer in the world and a subsidiary of China's Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corp, is reportedly a candidate to acquire Japan's troubled Takata Corp, according to a published report.

Takata is in the midst of a massive recall that may affect as many as 100 million vehicles worldwide after faulty Takata airbag inflators were linked to 13 deaths globally and more than 100 injuries.

Takata hired investment bank Lazard Ltd last year to lead a financial restructuring to reduce the impact of the recalls, which could cost the company more than $24 billion, according to Bloomberg.

China's Ningbo Joyson may be looking to build on its 2016 acquisition of Sterling Heights, Michigan-based Key Safety Systems Inc (KSS) for $920 million.

In 2016, Key Safety President and CEO Jason Luo told Crain's Detroit Business that Joyson and Key Safety were evaluating opportunities in the active and passive safety market and that Takata "could be of interest".

Sanjay Gupta, dean of the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University, told China Daily that Joyson might be interested in Takata to leverage the lessons learned from its Key Safety purchase into Takata.

"As we venture deeper into automation, safety will play an even bigger role, and so airbags and other safety products are likely to receive more attention," Gupta said. "Fixing Takata's problems and getting the products right would enable Joyson to have a commanding position in an area of potentially high demand and growth in the future."

Ningbo's purchase of Key Safety created an auto supplier generating revenue of approximately $3 billion globally. "Our company's culture isn't Chinese or American. We are truly a global company with over 12,000 employees, operations in 15 countries," Luo told China Daily in 2016.

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