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Visteon Rises After Offering to Take Over Halla

Visteon Corp. (VC), the auto-parts maker focusing on growing Asian operations, rose the most in more than eight months after making an $805 million tender offer yesterday for South Korea’s Halla Climate Control Corp. (018880), a maker of air conditioning and heater systems for cars.

Visteon gained 3.8 percent to $38.59 at 10:45 a.m. in New York. The shares earlier rose as much as 8.9 percent, the biggest intraday gain since Oct. 28.

The company’s offer to buy the remaining 30 percent of Halla it doesn’t already own, sent shares of the South Korean company up 12 percent to close at 27,850 won ($24.53) on the Korea Exchange, the biggest gain since May 2009. Visteon, based in Van Buren Township, Michigan, said in a statement it’s offering 28,500 won a share, a premium of about 14 percent to Halla’s closing price on July 4.

Visteon, which left bankruptcy in 2010, has been shedding lower-margin revenue in interiors and lighting to focus on faster-growing operations in Asia. Visteon is shopping two of its four units. In combination with Halla, Visteon said it’s the world’s second-largest supplier of climate-control systems.

“This transaction will pave the way for HCC to play an even greater role in the global climate market, while reinforcing its leadership position in Korea,” Visteon Chief Executive Officer Don Stebbins said in the statement. “It also will facilitate future investment in climate technology.”

Visteon in May reported a first-quarter net loss of $29 million, its second consecutive quarterly deficit after four straight profitable quarters. The parts maker has been plagued by losses since it was spun off in 2000 by Ford Motor Co. (F) The supplier has expanded business with automakers other than Ford and narrowed its product offerings.

Visteon also said yesterday it ended an agreement the sell the majority of its interior business to Yanfeng Visteon Automotive Trim Systems Co., its joint venture with Shanghai- based Huayu Automotive Systems Co. (600741)

To contact the reporter on this story: Keith Naughton in Southfield, Michigan at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bill Koenig at

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