SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Oct. 28, 2021 – Lear Corporation (NYSE: LEA), a global automotive technology leader in Seating and E-Systems, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of Kongsberg Automotive’s Interior Comfort Systems (ICS) business unit.
Kongsberg Automotive’s ICS business unit specializes in comfort seating solutions, with a leadership position in seating product areas experiencing growth within the auto industry – massage, lumbar, seat heat and ventilation. With almost 50 years of experience, the ICS business unit has cutting-edge technology, a well-balanced customer portfolio built on longstanding relationships with leading premium automakers and an experienced and dedicated team.
The purchase of Kongsberg Automotive’s ICS business unit will further advance Lear’s vertical integration and expand product offerings into specialized comfort seating solutions that improve vehicle performance and packaging – important benefits as more customers demand these features across various vehicle segments.
“By integrating Kongsberg Automotive’s Interior Comfort Systems business unit into our operations, we will build on our strengths in design, engineering and operational excellence – advancing our strategy to offer a complete suite of premier comfort seat systems to our customers and ultimately to consumers,” said Ray Scott, Lear President and CEO. “This acquisition represents an opportunity for Lear to capture more content-per-vehicle by providing an optimized solution with a better value proposition for our customers, in terms of cost, quality and performance. Lear looks forward to welcoming the talented ICS workforce to our team.”
Under the terms of the deal, Lear will acquire Kongsberg Automotive’s ICS business unit for €175 million, on a cash and debt free basis. The transaction, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and adjustments, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022. Market dependent, the acquisition will likely be funded through debt financing.
Lear is leading an era of unprecedented evolution in automotive seating innovation. The acquisition of Kongsberg Automotive’s ICS business unit will provide additional resources to proactively adapt to emerging market trends and customer demand.
“As automakers look for greater product differentiation, increased efficiency and improved performance, especially in the luxury, SUV and electric vehicle segments, Lear is integrating seating comfort with more features,” said Frank Orsini, Lear Executive Vice President and President, Seating. “This acquisition complements our strategic portfolio of vertically integrated design solutions and comfort capabilities.”
Kongsberg Automotive’s ICS business unit brings operational leadership personnel and more than 3,800 employees globally from its production, engineering and sales facilities throughout Asia, Europe and North America and is expected to generate approximately $300 million in revenue this year.
“I am convinced our ICS employees will be in good hands and continue to thrive at a much larger scale at Lear, our longstanding partner,” said Joerg Buchheim, President and CEO of Kongsberg Automotive, adding, “For Kongsberg Automotive, the transaction provides us the room for additional financial maneuvering and allows us to fully concentrate on our path towards highly-focused and profitable growth.”