FRANKFURT -- Robert Bosch GmbH, the world's biggest car-parts supplier, agreed to sell its foundation brakes unit to private equity fund KPS Capital Partners LP as the German manufacturer seeks to concentrate on brakes electronics.
The deal should be completed early this year, subject to antitrust approval, the companies said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday.
Stuttgart-based Bosch will keep its power brakes and braking control systems units and expand its aftermarket business, including production of brake pads and discs.
"It is a business which is based on hardware, and we will concentrate on the brakes electronics units," Achim Schneider, a Bosch spokesman, said by telephone, declining to specify the value of the deal.
"Carmakers now prefer to integrate complete brakes systems into vehicles themselves. This doesn't mean they don't work with partsmakers, but that the unit can now work with providers of other components too."
Bosch Foundation Brakes, based in Drancy, France, had sales of 850 million euros ($1.09 billion) in 2010 and has 5,200 employees. The unit's North American operations were sold to Tokyo-based Akebono Brake Industry in 2009. The Japanese company started due diligence of the rest of the unit in 2010 as it considered a further takeover bid.
KPS Capital Partners, which is based in New York, has an investment in busmaker Motor Coach Industries Inc. as part of its $2.7 billion of assets, according to the company's Web site.
Bosch ranks No. 1 on the Automotive News Europe list of the top 100 global suppliers, with sales to automakers of $34.6 billion in 2010.