DETROIT - Carlisle Cos. Inc., seeking to expand its automotive molding business, announced Sept. 17 it is in advanced negotiations to acquire the Engineered Plastics Division of Johnson Controls Inc. The acquisition is to be completed this fall. Terms were not disclosed.
Carlisle said it plans to fold the JCI business into its Geauga Co. automotive unit, which is headquartered in Chardon, Ohio.
The Engineered Plastics Division, engaged primarily in the production of under-the-hood components and blow molded bumper beams, does not fit into JCI's long-term strategy of supplying complete interior systems, spokesman Glen Ponczak said.
``The focus is on the automotive interior as a strategic direction,'' he said.
The proposed deal would not include JCI's plastic container or machinery units.
Along those lines, JCI announced in July that it was paying $1.35 billion in cash to acquire Prince Automotive, a supplier of interior components based in Holland, Mich. In March, JCI and Inoac Corp. of Nagoya, Japan, said they would form Intertec Systems, a joint venture to make instrument panels and other interior components. And last year JCI acquired a majority stake in Roth Freres SA, a Strasbourg, France, seating and interior components supplier.
For Carlisle, the JCI acquisition will add $130 million in sales and four plants - two in Erie, Pa., and one each in Lapeer, Mich., and Tuscaloosa, Ala. About 900 are employed in the JCI division.
Carlisle, which now directly supplies General Motors Corp. and major independent parts producers, will expand its customer base to include other top suppliers and gain work on several high-volume vehicle programs, which include the Ford Taurus and Explorer and Dodge Caravan.
Carlisle plans to maintain the JCI division essentially intact and does not foresee any plant consolidations with existing operations, said Robert J. Ryan Jr., vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer.
JCI acquired the division as part of its purchase of Hoover Universal Inc. in 1985.
Besides bumper beams, the division makes air ducts, vent grilles, fan shrouds, gears and housings, modular wiper brackets, and radiator end tanks.
Publicly held Carlisle, based in Syracuse, N.Y., is a diversified manufacturer of products for transportation, construction and assorted industrial markets.
The company reported 1995 sales of $822 million. For the first six months of 1996, Carlisle reported sales of $487.4 million, an increase of 25 percent over the same year-earlier period.
The company's transportation segment, including the Geauga business, reported first-half sales of $173.6 million, up 40 percent, and pre-tax earnings of $15.4 million, an increase of 57 percent compared with last year.