Takata to sell auto interiors business to Detroit supplier: source
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A sign with the TAKATA logo is seen outside the Takata Corporation building in Auburn Hills, Michigan May 20, 2015. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo
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DETROIT (Reuters) - Takata Corp's <7312.T> interiors subsidiary, Irvin Automotive, will be purchased by the Piston Group, a Detroit auto parts maker that is headed by former National Basketball Association player Vinnie Johnson, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.The deal is expected to close later this week, the source said, at an undisclosed price. The Takata deal with Piston Group is not directly related to the larger effort to secure a lifeline for Takata and its primary seat belt and air bag businesses.
The plan to sell beleaguered Takata to a rescuer, slated by year-end, is likely to extend into next year as some bidders want to drag the air bag maker through bankruptcy to wipe out most of its debt, Reuters reported on Monday.
Takata's air bag inflators, which contain ammonium nitrate, have been linked to at least 14 deaths and more than 150 injuries and resulted in the largest vehicle recall in history.
Irvin Automotive, headquartered in suburban Detroit and with manufacturing plants in Mexico, makes pieces for vehicle interiors such as seat trim, visors and arm rests. The Piston Group had revenue of $1.3 billion last year. Its largest business is Piston Automotive, which has 700 employees and plants in Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Kentucky.
Irvin has 7,000 employees, mostly in Mexico. Takata put its Irvin business up for sale seven months ago.
The impending sale was reported on Monday by Crain's Detroit Business.
(Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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