MUNICH -- Johnson Controls Inc. said Monday it has been approved to acquire German seating expert Keiper and its specialty seat business, Recaro. The European Commission signed off on the deal June 17, JCI said in a statement.
The deal enhances JCI's seating business, particularly in Europe, as it follows its purchase of German seat specialist C. Rob. Hammerstein Group earlier this year.
"The acquisition of Keiper and Recaro Automotive provides Johnson Controls with a comprehensive product range in seating components," Beda Bolzenius, vice president, Johnson Controls and president, Automotive Experience, said in the statement. "This further complements the acquisition of C. Rob. Hammerstein earlier this year and our existing metals business."
Financial terms of the Keiper/Recardo deal were not released. Johnson Controls plans to leverage the purchase across its seat component portfolio, and expand in China and North America.
Keiper -- of Kaiserslautern, Germany -- is a leading producer of recliner system technology and is known for its engineering and manufacturing expertise in metals and mechanisms for automobile seats.
Recaro Automotive offers complete seats for automakers and as aftermarket equipment. As part of the transaction, Johnson Controls also acquires the licensing rights for the exclusive global use of the Recaro trademark for the automotive industry, JCI said.
The acquisition will include about 4,750 employees in 13 locations globally.
Keiper and Recaro have combined annual revenues of nearly $1 billion, a Keiper spokesman said. Keiper's customers include Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and General Motors, while Recaro's major customers include Ford, Volkswagen, Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Mini, Aston Martin, Cadillac and Honda.
The company's product lineup includes mechanisms that adjust seat length and height, recliners that adjust the backrest position of vehicle seats, and rear seat latches. The acquisition includes Recaro's automotive sport and specialty seat portfolio.
JCI said the purchase will allow it to develop new, differentiated seating products and technologies.
Keiper's Brazilian operations are excluded from the deal. Recaro Aircraft Seating, Recaro Child Safety and Recaro Home also are not part of the acquisition and will remain as part of Putsch Holding in Kaiserslautern, JCI said.
In February, JCI announced it completed it acquisition of C. Rob. Hammerstein Group. The European Commission approved the deal Jan. 14, 2011. According to JCI's May 4 filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the total purchase price for the supplier, net of cash acquired, was about $521 million.
The purchase of CRH, which has 3,600 employees in seven countries, is expected to boost JCI's market share for seats in Europe by giving it access to CRH customers such as BMW AG and Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz. The combined companies also plan to develop lightweight seats for future vehicles.
Johnson Controls ranks No. 7 on the Automotive News Europe list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide parts sales to automakers of $16.6 billion in 2010. Europe accounted for 49 percent of that total.