The Associated Press reported Friday that Michigan-based Lear Corporation, owners of a plant in Greencastle, have agreed to be purchased by American Real Estate Partners (AREP) LP.
A press release issued by Lear's corporate office on Friday said the company would be acquired by AREP at a cost of $5.3 billion. The sale is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter.
Phone calls made to Lear's Greencastle plant were not returned.
Under the agreement, Lear has 45 days to seek proposals from other companies before the merger would become final.
"Following a very thorough review of the proposed transaction, our board unanimously concluded that the AREP offer was in the best interest of Lear's shareholders," Lear CEO Bob Rossiter said in a press release. "We believe that the transaction price, which represents a multiple of about nine times our forecasted 2007 core operating earnings -- excluding the interior business, provides shareholders with significant value. Further-more, we intend to solicit other offers to ensure that value is maximized for all our shareholders."
Lear bills itself as one of the world's largest suppliers of interior car systems and parts, including seat systems, electronic products and other interior parts. Annual sales for the company were $17.8 billion in 2006, putting it at No. 127 among Fortune 500 companies.
Lear has 104,000 employees at 275 facilities in 33 countries.