TRW: Right Where We Want to Be

Expect no restructuring at TRW Automotive following its acquisition by Blackstone Group, says John Plant, the supplier's president and CEO. The Blackstone Group is an investor, not a manager, Plant says, adding TRW Automotive recently concluded extensive restructuring. Blackstone, a private investment bank, paid $4.7 billion for the automotive unit of TRW Inc., which was acquired in July by Northrop

Expect no restructuring at TRW Automotive following its acquisition by Blackstone Group, says John Plant, the supplier's president and CEO.

The Blackstone Group is “an investor, not a manager,” Plant says, adding TRW Automotive recently concluded extensive restructuring.

Blackstone, a private investment bank, paid $4.7 billion for the automotive unit of TRW Inc., which was acquired in July by Northrop Grumman Corp. for $7.8 billion and $5 billion in assumed debt.

Blackstone and management own 80% of TRW Automotive, the world's 8th largest supplier, while Northrop Grumman retains a 20% stake.

Plant says Blackstone's financial clout — it has raised about $24 billion for investment since 1985 — gives TRW a considerable measure of comfort. The supplier has 63,000 employees in 23 countries.

Noting TRW has consolidated a sizable share of its manufacturing capability in countries where labor costs are low, Plant adds: “We are right where we want to be.”

Meanwhile, a TRW competitor, Breed Technologies Inc. also has a new owner.

Carlyle Management Group acquires Breed, which will be an affiliate of Carlyle's Key Automotive Group. Key Plastics LLC has been part of Carlyle for two years. Both Key and Breed endured difficult bankruptcy proceedings in recent years.

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