Asahi Kasei to Acquire U.S. Auto Interior Materials Maker

Economy

Tokyo, July 19 (Jiji Press)--Japanese chemical company Asahi Kasei Corp. <3407> said Thursday that it will acquire Sage Automotive Interiors Inc., a U.S. automotive interior manufacturer, for 1,060 million dollars in total.

Asahi Kasei will buy all of Sage's outstanding shares from a U.S. fund for about 700 million dollars. It aims to complete the deal by the end of the year.

By incorporating Sage, which develops and produces materials for vehicle interiors, Asahi Kasei hopes to increase its profits from automotive products. Sage holds the largest global market share for automotive seat fabric.

Asahi Kasei, which has been selling artificial leather to Sage, is eager to benefit from the U.S. company's know-how in marketing and design to enhance its presence in the automotive product market.

"We hope to tap into the midstream business," which manufactures products, "from the upstream sector," which deals with materials, Asahi Kasei President Hideki Kobori said at a news conference.

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