Bloomberg News

Johnson Controls Likely to Pass on Visteon Unit, CEO Roell Says

November 09, 2011

Nov. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Johnson Controls Inc., the largest U.S. auto supplier, said it doesn’t expect to bid for the interiors unit rival Visteon Corp. is said to be selling.

Johnson Controls, which tried to buy Visteon’s interiors and electronics units before that company emerged from bankruptcy in 2010, won’t bid on the interiors business because of the complexity of the unit’s joint ventures, Stephen Roell, chief executive officer of Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls, said today in an interview at Bloomberg’s New York headquarters.

“We’re not in active conversations at all with Visteon,” Roell said. “We’re not in discussions. I don’t think, because of the circumstances, that that will be something that we’ll look at.”

Visteon, a spinoff of Ford Motor Co., is shopping its lighting and interiors units to pare low-margin revenue and focus operations on China, five people familiar with the sale process said last month. Shanghai-based Yanfeng Visteon Automotive Trim Systems Co., Visteon’s joint venture with SAIC Motor Corp., is the most attractive part of the interiors business, Roell said.

Visteon in June 2010 rejected a $1.25 billion offer from Johnson Controls for its interiors and electronics units, saying it would hurt Visteon’s creditors.

Johnson Controls fell 0.2 percent to $32.40 at 2:30 p.m. New York time. The shares slid 15 percent this year through yesterday.

--Editors: Bill Koenig, Jamie Butters

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Clothier in New York at mclothier@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net


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