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Cooper Standard selling unit to focus on core products

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Keith Stephenson, chief operating officer of Cooper Standard
Keith Stephenson, chief operating officer of Cooper Standard.

NOVI, Mich.—Cooper Standard Holdings Inc. has reached an agreement to sell its thermal and emissions product line to Halla Visteon Climate Control Corp.

HVCC said it paid $46 million for the acquisition, which is subject to adjustment, certain regulatory and other approvals. The firms expect the deal to close in the third quarter of 2014.

“A strategic decision was made to divest our thermal and emissions product line and allow the company to focus resources on our four core product groups,” Jeffrey Edwards, Cooper Standard's chairman and CEO, said in a news release. “We will work closely with HVCC to ensure a smooth transition.”

After a strategic review, Cooper Standard defined its four core product lines as sealing and trim, fluid transfer systems, fuel and brake delivery, and anti-vibration systems—all with a rubber application.

During that review, the firm determined that the thermal and emissions line was not core to the company, despite the fact it is a growing segment.

Keith Stephenson, chief operating officer of Cooper Standard, said through a combination of technology, advantaged global footprint and world class operations, the firm can be a clear market leader in its core product lines.

“We remain firmly committed to being a global leader in automotive sealing, premium hose and anti-vibration systems,” Stephenson said. “The divesture will allow for greater focus and future investment in these core product lines as well as our fuel and brake business.”

The tentative sale includes exhaust gas recirculation modules, electronic coolant pumps and valves, electronic wastegate actuators, and electronic throttle bodies in addition to related assets from operations in North America, Germany, France and the Czech Republic, Cooper Standard said.

Certain engineering and other support resources in North America and Germany are intended to transfer to existing HVCC locations over the next several months, which Cooper Standard said will include some of its work force.

“We are pleased that these employees will join a company where thermal and emissions products are a core product line,” Stephenson said.

No changes will occur prior to the completion of the acquisition, HVCC said. None of Cooper Standard's manufacturing sites will transfer as part of the purchase, and HVCC is in the process of determining which of its manufacturing sites will receive Cooper Standard's production volume.

HVCC is a full-line automotive supplier of climate systems and components. Products include heating, ventilation and air conditioning; compressors; powertrain cooling; fluid transport; and electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicle thermal systems.

“Cooper Standard's thermal and emissions product line is a strategic fit that enhances HVCC's fuel efficient thermal energy management offering to auto makers,” an HVCC spokeswoman said. “Our customers are looking to do business with suppliers that can deliver modules and systems in this space, as well as components.”

HVCC operates 35 manufacturing sites and four global technical centers in 19 countries. The firm employs nearly 14,500. It is a 70-percent owned subsidiary of Visteon Corp., which operates facilities in 29 countries and employs 24,000. It supplies the automotive industry through its subsidiaries—HVCC, Visteon Electronics and Visteon Interiors.