By Miles Moore, ERJ staff (TB)
Novi, Michigan -- Auto parts manufacturer Cooper Standard Automotive Inc. plans to increase its global business by strengthening its existing joint venture relationship with Japanese parts maker Nishikawa Rubber Co. Ltd.
Cooper Standard said the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) March 10 providing for the expansion of their joint venture company-known in the US as Nishikawa Cooper L.L.C.-which operates automotive sealing product manufacturing plants in the US and Mexico.
According to a Cooper Standard press release, Cooper Standard and Nishikawa intend to expand their relationship into a more global alliance that will enhance their capabilities to serve customers around the world.
â€œThe expansion of Cooper Standard's partnership with Nishikawa Rubber Co. into other regions of the world is another important step in our company's strategic global growth plan,â€ said James McElya, Cooper Standard chairman and CEO, in the press release.
No governmental approvals are necessary to complete the MOU, according to a Cooper Standard spokeswoman.
Under the MOU, the first steps to expand the partnership will involve Nishikawa's sale to Cooper Standard of a 20-percent interest in Nishikawa's sealing business in Thailand. After that, Cooper Standard will sell Nishikawa a minority interest in the Cooper Standard sealing operation in Myslenice, Poland.
The two companies also will restructure their North American joint ventures. Nishikawa has purchased additional shares in Nishikawa Cooper, returning to its original 60-percent ownership of the company. As for Cooper Standard, it will increase its majority position in the Mexican joint venture, the company said.
â€œWe expect the documentation of the transactions in Thailand and Mexico to be completed in the near future, in the first or second quarters,â€ the Cooper Standard spokeswoman said. â€œDue to internal planning considerations of both partners, we expect the transaction in Poland to be completed at or around the end of 2011.â€
There are no further new manufacturing facilities, products or capacity expansions arising from the MOU that can be discussed at present, she said, adding that the recent tsunami in Japan will have no effect on implementing the MOU.
Based in Novi, Cooper Standard is one of the world's leading suppliers of body sealing systems, fluid handling systems, anti-vibration systems and other components for the auto industry. It employs approximately 19,000 people in 18 countries.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)