ArvinMeritor divests stakes in light vehicle systems chassis ventures

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ArvinMeritor announced Thursday, June 25, that it has reached agreements to divest its entire ownership stakes in two joint ventures in its light vehicle chassis business. Together, these transactions, terms of which were not announced, will result in the divestiture of 45 percent of the chassis systems business as measured by 2008 sales, the company says.

The company says it has entered into a binding letter of intent to sell its 57 percent stake in Meritor Suspension Systems Co. — a joint venture that manufactures and sells automotive coil springs, torsion bars and stabilizer bars in North America — to its joint venture partner, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Steel Mfg. Co. ArvinMeritor says the transaction is expected to close in the coming months after receiving necessary regulatory clearances.

ArvinMeritor also announced that earlier this month it completed the sale of its 51 percent stake in Gabriel de Venezuela, which manufactures shock absorbers, struts, exhaust systems and suspension modules for countries including Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador.

“We are pleased to announce these two divestitures, which represent important steps toward achieving our long-term strategic objective to focus on supplying the commercial vehicle on- and off-highway markets for both original equipment manufacturers and aftermarket customers,” says Chip McClure, chairman, chief executive officer and president of ArvinMeritor, based in Troy, Mich. “Our joint venture partners are strong companies, and I am confident that they will focus on growing these businesses.”

McClure says ArvinMeritor will continue to concentrate on divesting the light vehicle chassis business. “We are pleased with the high level of interest we are continuing to see from potential buyers in the remaining segments of that business,” he says.