Valeo to Buy German Clutch Maker FTE From Bain for $914 Million

  • FTE has sales of 500 million euros and 3,700 employees
  • French automotive supplier beat out Chinese bidders for FTE

Valeo SA, France’s second-biggest auto-parts maker, agreed to buy German clutch maker FTE Automotive GmbH from Boston-based buyout firm Bain Capital.

Valeo agreed to pay 819.3 million euros ($914 million) for all of FTE, or 8 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, according to a statement on Thursday. The transaction is subject to approval from European and Brazilian antitrust authorities and is expected to close as early as the fourth quarter.

Valeo has made a spate of German acquisitions in previous months, including Spheros GmbH, which makes air conditioning systems for buses, and Peiker Acustic GmbH to bolster its autonomous driving and connected vehicles technology. FTE, which Bain acquired from PAI Partners in 2013, is a world leader in hydraulic clutch actuation systems for manual transmissions in light vehicles, according to the buyout firm’s website.

Ebern, Germany-based FTE generated about of 500 million euros in sales in 2015 and has 3,700 employees and a industrial footprint in eight countries, including Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Mexico and China, according to the statement.

FTE also attracted interest from Chinese automotive suppliers and other buyout firms, people familiar with the matter previously said. Car sales remain at historically strong levels, and automotive manufacturing deals have more than tripled to about $12.4 billion so far this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The acquisition of FTE automotive is perfectly aligned with Valeo’s CO2 emission reduction strategy,” Jacques Aschenbroich, Valeo chairman and chief executive officer, said in the statement. “FTE automotive is a fast-growing company and a technological leader with a proven ability to combine growth and profitability.”

Valeo shares rose 1.8 percent to 136.90 euros in Paris Thursday, valuing the company at 10.9 billion euros.

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