An auto supply company owned by former basketball star Vinnie Johnson has purchased a subsidiary of the troubled Takata Corp.
Piston Group, which is owned by the former Detroit Pistons guard, paid $175 million for Irvin Automotive Inc. It is based in the Detroit suburb of Redford Township, Mich.
The acquisition adds Irvin's interiors manufacturing operations to Piston's assembly and sequencing business. Irvin will operate independently under Piston Group, Chairman Vinnie Johnson told Crain's Detroit Business, a sister publication of Plastics News.
“I had been talking to our customers, particularly the Detroit 3, about getting into manufacturing for some time,” Johnson said. “I was approached by Takata and worked with the [automakers] to really land this huge acquisition and huge opportunity.”
Joe Finn, president of Irvin, and his management team will continue to run the company. Johnson is putting together an independent board to assist Finn with operations.
Both Piston Group and Irvin Automotive deal with plastics — Irvin, which is a supplier of seat trim, headrest covers, sun visors and armrests, has cut-and-sew operations — but are not major plastics processors.