NOVI, Mich.—Cooper-Standard Automotive Inc. is forming a joint venture in France that will provide body sealing products, anti-vibration systems and low-pressure hoses to European auto makers.
Cooper-Standard said it will combine its French body-sealing operations with those of Societe des Polymeres Barre-Thomas, or SPBT. The joint venture will be called Cooper-Standard France.
Cooper-Standard will own 51 percent of the joint venture, while SPBT parent Fonds de Modernisation des Equipementiers Automobilies, or FMEA, will own 49 percent. FMEA is acquiring SPBT as a preliminary step to the joint venture transaction, which should close in the second quarter of 2011.
“Cooper-Standard brings management expertise, technology and French sealing assets,” said Keith Stephenson, Cooper-Standard chief operating officer. “FMEA brings the Barre-Thomas business and cash to the venture.”
Cooper-Standard France is expected to generate $337 million in 2011 sales on a pro forma basis, according to Cooper-Standard.
The joint venture will include three manufacturing facilities in France and one in Poland, and a 50-percent interest in an anti-vibration systems business in India.
The joint venture will expand Cooper-Standard's existing body sealing capability and provide it with anti-vibration and hose capability in Europe, company executives said.
“FMEA selected Cooper-Standard because of our reputation for being a reliable and stable supplier that is global and already in the French supply base,” Stephenson said. “The joint venture provides Cooper-Standard with anti-vibration and low-pressure hose capability in Europe, rounding our global offering in these two product lines.”
Cooper-Standard's partner in the joint venture, FMEA, is partially owned by French auto makers Renault S.A. and PSA Peugeot Citroen. Cooper-Standard executives believe the joint venture will help strengthen their company's relationship with those car companies and others.
“In addition to enhancing our relationship with Renault and PSA, it enables us to support our European customers with anti-vibration and low-pressure hose products and provides our global customers with full support on all Cooper-Standard product lines,” Stephenson said.
SPBT, based in Rennes, France, employs 1,665 and operates manufacturing facilities in Rennes and in Czestochowa, Poland. It also set up a joint venture in India.
FMEA is a venture capital fund jointly owned by Renault, PSA Peugeot Citroen and Fonds Strategique d'Investissement.