Autoliv Buys Out Japanese Joint Venture - TheStreet

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- Leading auto-supplier

Autoliv

(ALV) - Get Report

has agreed to buy the outstanding 40% of shares in its Japanese joint venture to help the company better coordinate its global inflator production strategy.

The deal between Autoliv, which specializes in auto-safety, and Autoliv Nichiyu is expected to close on Wednesday.

Afterwards, Autoliv Nichiyu will be re-named Autoliv Aichi.

Autoliv said that Autoliv Aichi will have annual sales of about $35 million, of which virtually all will be internal sales to other Autoliv companies.

"This investment reinforces Autoliv's long-standing commitment to the Japanese automotive industry and will allow us to better coordinate our global inflator production strategy," Jan Carlson, CEO of Autoliv said in a statement.

Carlson said that globally, about 22% of Autoliv's sales are made to Japanese car makers and these customers are an important component of the company's global business.

The Autoliv Nichiyu joint venture is one of Autoliv's five manufacturing facilities in Japan and primarily produces airbag inflators for the Japanese domestic market.

Autoliv said that Autoliv Nichiyu has experienced steady growth since it was formed in 1988. Currently, Autoliv holds an inflator market share of about 30% in Japan. Major customers include

Toyota

(TM) - Get Report

,

Nissan

,

Honda

(HMC) - Get Report

,

Mitsubishi

,

Mazda

and

Suzuki.

The production of light vehicles in Japan during 2009 was about 7.4 million units, and it is expected to reach 10 million units by 2013, according to Autoliv.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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