Lear Corp. in Southfield, a global leader in automotive seating and e-systems, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of Kongsberg Automotive’s interior comfort systems (ICS) business unit for $203.4 million.
Kongsberg is based in Switzerland and has operations in Novi. The ICS business unit specializes in comfort seating solutions, with a leadership position in seating product areas experiencing growth within the industry, including massage, lumbar, seat heat, and ventilation.
“By integrating Kongsberg Automotive’s Interior Comfort Systems business unit into our operations, we will build on our strengths in design, engineering, and operational excellence – advancing our strategy to offer a complete suite of premier comfort seat systems to our customers and ultimately to consumers,” says Ray Scott, president and CEO of Lear.
“This acquisition represents an opportunity for Lear to capture more content-per-vehicle by providing an optimized solution with a better value proposition for our customers, in terms of cost, quality and performance. Lear looks forward to welcoming the talented ICS workforce to our team.”
The purchase seeks to advance Lear’s vertical integration and expand product offerings into specialized comfort seating solutions that improve vehicle performance and packaging, which it hopes will help keep up with increasing demand.
“As automakers look for greater product differentiation, increased efficiency and improved performance, especially in the luxury, SUV, and electric vehicle segments, Lear is integrating seating comfort with more features,” says Frank Orsini, executive vice president and president of seating. “This acquisition complements our strategic portfolio of vertically integrated design solutions and comfort capabilities.”
Kongsberg ICS business unit brings operational leadership personnel and more than 3,800 employees globally from its production, engineering, and sales facilities throughout Asia, Europe, and North America, and is expected to generate approximately $300 million in revenue this year.
“I am convinced our ICS employees will be in good hands and continue to thrive at a much larger scale at Lear, our longstanding partner,” says Joerg Buchheim, president and CEO of Kongsberg Automotive. “For Kongsberg Automotive, the transaction provides us the room for additional financial maneuvering and allows us to fully concentrate on our path towards highly focused and profitable growth.”
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and adjustments and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.