Chicago — Illinois Tool Works has agreed to pay $450 million for the engineered fasteners and components business of German automotive supplier ZF TRW.
The deal is expected to close by the end of June.
"We are fortunate to be selling this business to a highly respected expert in the development and supply of fasteners and components that is seeking to grow their worldwide business," ZF TRW CEO Franz Kleiner said in a Jan. 25 statement.
ZF the fasteners business is "successful and profitable," but the company wants to focus on growing its core businesses in advanced safety, efficiency, electrification and the further development of automated driving. It relies extensively on injection molded plastic parts.
ZF Friedrichshafen AG completed its acquisition of TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. last year.
“We felt like for Illinois Tool Works, this is more of a core business on their side than our side,” ZF spokesman John Wilkerson said.
ITW said it intends to run the fasteners and components business as a standalone division within its automotive segment, the statement said.
Since late 2012, Glenview, Ill.-based ITW, which makes everything from auto and food equipment to beverage packaging, has been shedding units it says operate in “commoditized markets,” and thus have limited growth prospects.
In 2013 and 2014, ITW sold 32 businesses representing $4.90 billion in revenue, according to a company investor presentation from December. The company expects to “exit” businesses worth another $350 million between 2014 and the end of this year.
As it sold units, the company hoped to boost the organic growth of its existing businesses and make only “highly selective strategic acquisitions,” the investor presentation says.
ZF TRW's fasteners and components business apparently fit the bill.
The unit “will be a highly complementary addition to ITW's [automotive] segment that will broaden our ability to serve our customers and further expand our long-term organic growth potential,” ITW Executive Vice President Sundaram Nagarajan said in a statement.
ITW last announced an acquisition in July 2013, according to its website. ITW is expected to discuss the deal in greater detail Jan. 27, when it reports fourth-quarter and full-year 2015 financial results.
Like other industrial firms, the company is grappling with the slowing global economy and lower commodity prices that are hurting a number of its customers.
Automotive News contributed to this report.