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Lear Launches Financing Actions And Increases Share Repurchase Authorization To $1.5 Billion

Stocks in this article: LEA

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Jan. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Lear Corporation [NYSE: LEA], a leading global supplier of automotive seating and electrical distribution systems, today launched financing actions to increase liquidity and announced an increase in its existing share repurchase program authorization.  These actions are expected to improve the Company's financial flexibility, extend debt maturities and significantly increase cash returned to shareholders over the next three years.  In addition, the Company affirmed its earnings outlook for 2012 and issued its financial outlook for 2013.

The financing actions include the launch of an offering of $500 million in senior unsecured notes due 2023 and a new $1 billion revolving line of credit, which will replace the Company's existing $500 million facility.  The final terms of the bond offering will depend upon market conditions and other factors.  With respect to the revolving line of credit, the Company presently has commitments for the vast majority of the $1 billion facility and expects to complete the transaction by the end of January. 

Combined, the proposed financing actions will increase the Company's liquidity by approximately $1 billion.  The Company intends to use this liquidity for general corporate purposes, including the redemption of $70 million in aggregate principal amount of our existing notes during 2013, investments in additional component capabilities and emerging markets and share repurchases under our common stock share repurchase program.

The Company also announced that it is increasing its existing share repurchase program authorization by $800 million to $1.5 billion and extending the authorization until January 10, 2016.  As of December 31, 2012, the Company has repurchased $502 million of its shares.  The new repurchase program provides for future share repurchases of approximately $1 billion, including $198 million available under the previous program.

"The actions that we are announcing today further improve our capital structure, increase our financial flexibility and allow us to continue to invest in growing and strengthening our business," said Matt Simoncini, Lear's president and chief executive officer.  "We also are significantly increasing our share repurchase program at a time when we believe our shares are undervalued."

Lear continues to win new business globally in both business segments.  The Company's sales backlog for 2013 to 2015 is $1.8 billion.  The backlog continues to support further diversification of Lear's sales by geographic region, customer and vehicle platform.

Simoncini added, "The investments we have made in both business segments over the last several years will continue to provide benefits and support growth greater than the overall industry.  I am particularly pleased with the success of our Electrical Power Management business, where we are achieving record sales and improving margins."

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