Toray Industries has concluded an agreement with Anders Westerlind to purchase all of the shares of Alva Sweden (ASE), a manufacturer of cushions for automotive airbag systems.
The supplier also said it would acquire ASE and its two subsidiaries, Alva Confecções of Portugal and Alva Tunisia of Tunisia.
Anders Westerlind wholly owns ASE. The transaction will close soon after required official procedures are completed.
"The global airbag market is steadily growing," said a Toray statement. "Demand continues to expand supported by tightening of vehicle safety regulations in leading nations together with increasing employment of this safety equipment in the emerging nations.
"Another positive factor is requirement for higher performance airbags is rising with the emergence of next-gen vehicles equipped with self-driving and other new technologies, which should cause a commensurate need for greater safety."
Toray's airbag business encompasses nylon fibre production operations in Japan, Thailand, Mexico and fabric manufacturing sites in Japan, Thailand, China, the Czech Republic, India, and Mexico.
Alva has manufactured cushions for automotive airbag systems in Europe since 1997. Toray has built ties with Alva by supplying it with fabric.
The acquisition agreement was the fruit of discussions between the two companies which started in 2018. This was in light of Toray's desire to accelerate advances in its integrated operations by entering more downstream business of cushions and extending its supply chain.
"The acquisition should enable Toray to enhance direct relationship and dealings with module manufacturers and, through them, with automakers, and should enable it to swiftly identify the latest airbag development trends and customer needs," added Toray.
"Toray also looks to incorporate Alva's cushion-manufacturing expertise in fabric design to bolster its product development and proposal capabilities by drawing on more robust fibre, fabric, and sewing integration."
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