Timken Selling Automotive Bearings Biz for $330 M

JTEKT buying producer of radial and thrust needle roller bearings

The Timken Co. agreed to sell its Needle Roller Bearings business to JTEKT Corp. in a cash deal Timken projects at $330 million. Timken president and CEO James W. Griffith called the transaction a step forward in the company’s strategy to refocus its holdings on industrial sectors with strong aftermarkets.

“It positions us to concentrate our resources on areas where we can realize mutual value with our customers,” according to Griffith.

JTEKT president Motohiko Yokoyama said the company is signaling its commitment to the automotive industry, adding that it will advance its strategy to become the world's leading automotive bearings manufacturer.

Pending regulatory approvals and certain closing conditions, the sale would be complete before the end of this year. Timken stated the sale proceeds will support its general purposes, and to increase its liquidity.

Needle Roller Bearings supplies automotive OEM customers with a range of radial and thrust needle roller bearings, as well as bearing assemblies and loose needles. Timken acquired the business in its 2003 takeover of The Torrington Co. It has 12 manufacturing plants and three engineering centers worldwide, and had $621 million in revenues in 2008.

JTEKT is a Japanese manufacturer of steering systems, driveline components, bearings and machine tools, and its OEM customers produce cars, jet engines, windmill power generators, and bullet trains. JTEKT is the product of a 2006 merger of Toyoda Machine Works Ltd. and Koyo Seiko Co. Ltd.

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