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Johnson Controls Signs Purchase Agreement to Acquire C. Rob. Hammerstein Group (CRH)

Johnson Controls, a global leader in automotive seating systems, interior components and electronics, signed a purchase agreement to acquire the C. Rob. Hammerstein Group (CRH). CRH is a leading, global supplier of metal seat structures and mechanisms and is recognized for its high level of quality. CRH’s headquarters and main development facilities are based in Solingen, Germany.

“The acquisition of CRH will substantially enhance our seat product offering as it will advance our strong market position through global manufacturing capabilities, innovation and further optimization of our portfolio,” said Beda Bolzenius, Vice President, Johnson Controls and President, Automotive Experience. “We will maintain the CRH brand name as it is synonymous with high quality metal structures and components.”

The acquisition creates new opportunities for global growth and vertical integration in the premium vehicle segments where CRH has a proven track record.

CRH’s expertise includes the complete product development process, from design, engineering and manufacturing of the individual components to the integration of the complete seat system. Its products and capabilities include front seat structures, seat tracks and height adjusters, multi-way adjusters, power gear boxes, as well as special applications such as steering column adjusters.

This transaction also will enable Johnson Controls to provide new technology and product solutions for its customers that will differentiate the company from its competitors.

“Through the combination of CRH’s advanced technology capabilities, such as its highly precise gearbox units, with Johnson Controls’ electronic body controller knowledge enables us to provide entirely new solutions in all automotive mechatronic applications,” said Bolzenius.

CRH’s sustainable products and technologies include slim seat structures which provide lightweight solutions. When combined with Johnson Controls’ operational expertise, these solutions will help reduce component weight for future vehicles.

“This transaction marks a very significant step in our history. We have carefully analyzed Johnson Controls’ proposal and concluded that it clearly represents a unique opportunity for the CRH Group to best meet the future challenges of our industry, such as fast growing globalization and platform standardization, said Robert Houston, CEO of CRH. “Together both companies intend to establish a best in class metal-organization within the global seating components business, which will be a milestone for CRH and will honor our family owned company.”

The CRH business will be integrated into the Johnson Controls metal and mechanisms unit that is part of its recently carved out seating components group within the Automotive Experience business. The metal and mechanisms unit as well as the entire seating components group are led by Johannes Roters, Group Vice President and General Manager Seating Components. It also includes dedicated units for trim and fabrics, as well as foam.

CRH employs approximately 3,600 employees in nine countries. The combined manufacturing footprint will facilitate growth particularly in China, Mexico, Turkey, Hungary, and Romania,

Completion of the acquisition, which is subject to customary regulatory approvals, is expected by the end of January 2011. Financial details regarding the transaction were not disclosed.

Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in over 150 countries. Our 130,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. Through our growth strategies and by increasing market share we are committed to delivering value to shareholders and making our customers successful.

Johnson Controls Automotive Experience is a global leader in automotive seating, overhead systems, door and instrument panels, and interior electronics. We support all major automakers in the differentiation of their vehicles through our products, technologies and advanced manufacturing capabilities. With more than 200 plants worldwide, we are where our customers need us to be. Consumers have enjoyed the comfort and style of our products, from single components to complete interiors, in over 200 million vehicles.

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