German Auto Parts Maker to Acquire Livonia’s TRW for $13.5B

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Livonia-based TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. announced today it will be acquired by German auto parts maker ZF Friedrichshafen AG for $13.5 billion.

Following the transaction, the merged company will claim combined sales of approximately $41 billion and employ 138,000 workers, with TRW operating as a separate business division within ZF.

“This is an acquisition in the spirit of a partnership,” says Stefan Sommer, CEO of ZF, which operates a large technical center in Northville. “We look forward to welcoming TRW’s employees to our company and are committed to working closely with them to realize the potential of this exciting combination. The Detroit metro area will remain a major business center for the company, and we expect employees from both companies to benefit from the enhanced career opportunities at a larger, more diversified company.”

Sommer says the combined business will be well positioned to capitalize on favorable megatrends in the automotive industry by bringing together complementary product offerings and leading technology positions that serve high-growth areas such as fuel efficiency, increased safety requirements, and autonomous driving.  

TRW’s board of directors and ZF’s supervisory and management boards unanimously approved the agreement, although the transaction’s closing is subject to certain conditions, including approval of the TRW stockholders.

“We have long respected ZF as a very successful company in our industry with similar values and focus on innovation,” says John C. Plant, chairman and CEO of TRW. “This transaction provides significant benefits for our shareholders who will receive full and certain value for their shares, as well as for our employees, customers, and communities, all of which will reap the benefits of being part of a larger, more diversified global organization.“

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2015.

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