Visteon to Sell Joint Venture Stake to Partner

Visteon Corp. (VC) agreed to sell Chinese assets for $1.25 billion to focus on its automotive climate-control and electronics businesses.

Visteon will sell its 50 percent stake in a venture with Huayu Automotive Systems Co. (600741) and other assets to the Chinese partner, the Van Buren Township, Michigan-based company said in a statement today. Visteon will use most of the proceeds to buy back stock until the end of 2015, Chief Executive Officer Tim Leuliette said in the statement.

Visteon, spun off from Ford Motor Co. in 2000, has tried to dispose of lower-margin units to focus on faster-growing Asian operations after exiting bankruptcy in 2010. Leuliette, formerly part of a bloc of Visteon directors who favored revamping the company, became CEO last year after the company failed to generate consistent profits.

Visteon also agreed to pay about $70 million to gain control of an electronics venture with Huayu called Yanfeng Visteon Automotive Electronics Co., it said. The deals will probably be completed by June 2015, Visteon said.

Huayu Automotive is a unit of Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp.

Last year, Visteon said it would reorganize its climate-control business, sell its interiors unit and consider options for its electronics business.

Visteon rose 4.3 percent to $71.99 at 9:55 a.m. New York time, after surging as much as 7.1 percent to $73.92, the biggest intraday gain in more than nine months. The shares climbed 28 percent this year through yesterday, compared with a 19 percent increase for the Russell 1000 Index.

Rothschild Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP advised Visteon.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Alexandra Ho in Shanghai at aho113@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net

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