TURIN - ThyssenKrupp Automotive will buy Magneti Marelli's Chassis Systems division.
Fiat SpA, which owns Magneti Marelli, released the details of the pending sale last week. After antitrust approvals and due diligence, ThyssenKrupp Automotive will buy 51 percent of Marelli's Chassis Systems division, which specializes in suspensions and shock absorbers.
Germany-based ThyssenKrupp has an option to buy the remaining 49 percent from Fiat in 2004.
The parties agreed to value the Chassis Systems division at E450 million. But that could rise to as much as E550 million depending on the division's financial results from 2001 to 2003.
The sale is Fiat's third step in breaking up Magneti Marelli. In late 1999, Marelli's lubricant division was sold for E428 million to Doughty Hanson & Co. Last November, Marelli's thermal division was sold to Denso for more than E500 million.
In January, Fiat hired two merchant banks to help sell Marelli's other three main divisions: Powertrain Systems; Interior and Body Systems; and Electronic Systems. Fiat also wants to sell Marelli's 70 percent stake in the Automotive Lighting joint venture with Robert Bosch AG.
Fiat is expected to retain two other Marelli operations: the Midas Europe service chain, which will go from the parent company to Fiat Auto, and the Viasat joint venture with Telecom Italia, of which Marelli owns 50 percent.