Kasugai, Japan -- Howa Textile Industry Co. Ltd is buying Tramico Automotive France SAS, the automotive headliner business of Tramico group, from Vita Polymeres France SAS and Tramico SAS.
Tramico makes headliners and other interior parts, and is similar to Howa's main business in Japan. Tramico's trading territories are in Europe and Russia, with its automotive division having three manufacturing sites in France and one each in Spain, Slovakia and Russia.
The main customers of Tramico's automotive division include major automotive manufacturers in Europe - such as Peugeot Citroen, Renault-Nissan, and Volkswagen.
The plants bought are: Tramico, Brionne, France; Tramico, Coulomb's automotive and industrial products (construction products will remain with Vita and transfer to Tramico at Gournay) in France; Pullflex in France; Isofel in Spain; Tramico in Slovakia; Tramico Russia.
The acquisition will enable Kasugai, Japan-based Howa to trade with such automotive OEMs in Europe, and to expand its business with European OEMs in the US and China.
As a result, Howa Group's manufacturing network will cover Europe and Russia in addition to its existing coverage of the US, China, and south-east Asia.
As a more global supplier, Howa said it will be able to expand its business globally with Japanese and non-Japanese automobile manufacturing companies.
Completion of the acquisition is subject to the usual conditions, and is currently expected to be 31 July 2012. The name of the acquired business will be Howa Tramico SAS.
Vita Group notes that some of its businesses related to these divested units will remain with Vita: Tramico in Gournay (with the construction products business from Coulomb), and Tramico Slovakia (aircraft seating products) which in future will be known as Metzeler Slovakia; and ICOA of Spain.
Vita also listed business unaffected by this transaction in automotive rolled goods and other technical businesses: Caligen Foam, Accrington, UK; Caligen Europe, Breda, The Netherlands; Koepp Schaum, Oestrich-Winkel, Germany: and Metzeler Schaum, Memmingen, Germany
Vita group ceo Joe Menendez said in a company statement: 'This divestment is part of a planned programme to realise return on our investment. I believe Tramico Automotive has a good 'home' with Howa and this will secure a successful future for these businesses and their employees."