China’s Ningbo Joyson considers bid for Takata following Key Safety acquisition

Key Safety CEO says company is in the hunt for more acquisitions

DETROIT — China’s Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corp. is interested in acquiring embattled Japanese airbag supplier Takata Corp.

Joyson is looking to build on its $920 million acquisition of Takata competitor Key Safety Systems Inc., which closed today, Key Safety CEO Jason Luo told Crain’s Detroit Business, an affiliate of Automotive News.

Luo told Crain’s that Joyson and Key Safety are evaluating opportunities in the active and passive safety market and that Takata “could be of interest.” Luo declined to elaborate on any details or whether the two parties are engaged in discussions.

Takata is floundering under the biggest recall in automotive history. As many as 100 million vehicles worldwide may ultimately be recalled due to faulty Takata airbag inflators that have been linked to 13 deaths globally and more than 100 injuries. The airbags can explode during an accident, shooting shrapnel into the cockpit, injuring passengers.

Bloomberg reported last week that New York investment firm KKR & Co. is currently in talks with others to make a play to acquire Takata. It’s unknown whether Joyson is involved with KKR’s possible bid, or if it is contemplating its own bid.

Takata said last month that it hired investment bank Lazard Ltd. to lead a financial restructuring to reduce the impact of the recalls. The recalls could cost the company more than $24 billion, Bloomberg reported in March.

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