DETROIT — Eagle-Picher Industries Inc. has sold its automotive-fluid-systems business to Japanese auto supplier Toyoda Gosei Co. Ltd. so the Cincinnati firm can concentrate on core operations. The $20 million deal wrapped up Feb. 29, said Michael E. Aslanian, president of Eagle-Picher's Automotive Division.
"The rest of the company just does not have any synergies with the Fluid Systems Division," Aslanian said during a March 7 interview at the SAE 2000 conference in Detroit.
The sale covers thermoplastic tubing assemblies for fuel, emission, brake, clutch and suspension systems at plants in Brighton, Mich., and Market Harborough, England.
Toyoda Gosei, based in Nagoya, Japan, produces steering wheels, air bags and a variety of interior and exterior trim parts for the auto industry, with 22 plants in Asia, Australia, North America and Europe.
Eagle-Picher put five units up for sale late last year, including Fluid Systems, to emphasize its major units: Hillsdale and Wolverine Gasket divisions in the automotive group, construction equipment, Eagle-Picher Technologies Inc. and Eagle-Picher Minerals Inc.
"It was a matter of putting our energy into the areas where we are strongest," Aslanian said.
Fluid Systems has a new parent that can help it grow, he said.
"With this purchase, Toyoda Gosei can achieve its goal of being a worldwide provider of fuel-system hoses," Toyoda Gosei President Tokio Horigome said in a written release. "This acquisition will expand our sales and customer base and enable us to introduce new products to our existing customers throughout the world."