Firm from India buys Stoneridge

HOWLAND – A North American automotive wiring harness maker based in Howland is being sold to India’s largest auto component maker for $65.7 million, both companies announced Tuesday.

Stoneridge Inc., headquartered at 9400 E. Market St., said the asset purchase dated Monday will mean the sale of its wiring harness segment to Motherson Sumi Systems Limited of New Delhi, India. Stoneridge has operated in Warren since its founding in 1965.

Details on how the sale will affect local and U.S. Stoneridge employment was not immediately clear. A call placed to the company Tuesday seeking further details was not immediately returned.

According to a statements released Tuesday by both companies, the segment of Stoneridge subject to the acquisition includes “an engineering and administrative center located in Warren, Ohio,” along with manufacturing facilities located in Portland, Ind., and three cities in Mexico, and includes about 4,700 employees.

The releases say the segment being acquired reports annual revenues of about $300 million.

Stoneridge President and Chief Executive Officer John C. Corey said in a prepared statement that the transaction should not alter Stoneridge’s net business plan for the next five years because most of the company’s new growth is being driven in different segments, including control device products, electronics and PST.

PST Electronics is the brand owner for Positron, a Stoneridge joint venture company, that provides infotainment, wireless security and other electronic devices.

“With the sale of our wiring business, we can now increase our focus and resources on our other business segments, which are technology-driven with global applications and offer greater opportunities to provide higher value to our shareholders,” Corey said.

Matt Mueller of Cleveland-based Western Reserve Partners LLC, which advised Stoneridge on the purchase, said the transaction allows Stoneridge to enhance its focus on more value-added technologies and products, and provides Motherson with the ability to better serve its global customer base with a substantial presence in North America.

Motherson manufactures a variety of products for the global automotive industry. The company said it plans to use the transaction to expand its presence in North America. Stoneridge’s wiring business designs and manufactures wiring harness products mostly for the commercial, agricultural and off-highway vehicle markets.

Regarding Stoneridge wiring business employees, Corey noted, “Our wiring business has a strong management team and highly dedicated employees. It is our expectation that they will be the foundation for the North American market for Motherson. We thank them for their contributions to Stoneridge and know they will continue to thrive within the Motherson organization.”

Stoneridge said the net cash proceeds will be utilized for strategic acquisitions, debt repayment, organic growth and other corporate purposes. Stoneridge trades on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol SRI.

The company’s history includes supplying major automakers, including General Motors Corp. since 1950, Ford Motor Co. since 1919, Deere & Co. since 1965 and Navistar International Corp. since 1973.