LONDON (Nov. 15)—Trelleborg A.B. has agreed to buy Laird Group P.L.C.´s non-sealing automotive components operations, taking Laird out of the automotive sector. Sweden´s Trelleborg will pay $146.5 million for the Laird Automotive Components business, consisting primarily of molded and anti-vibration parts produced at 16 plants, primarily in Europe, that employ 3,000. The deal follows by three weeks Laird´s sale of its car body seal business to GenCorp Inc. The automotive components business reported earnings of $23 million on sales of $314 million in 1999, Laird said, although two businesses totaling $32 million in sales will be divested separately. The acquisition strengthens Trelleborg´s position as the world´s largest maker of antivibration products and systems for the automotive industry, with sales expected to exceed $1 billion next year. The deal is expected to close by early next year.