UK glass manufacturer Pilkington is to buy an 80% share of the glass division of Visteon, Ford’s components business.
Andrew Robb, finance director at Pilkington, said the deal would give it a more balanced customer base. Under the agreement the new company would become the main supplier of glass to Ford, reducing Pilkington’s reliance on its biggest US customer, General Motors.
Negotiations are in their early stages and the deal is likely to take several months to be completed. Visteon’s glass business, due to be spun-off from Ford this month, has annual sales of $800m (£533m). If negotiations are successful, Pilkington may take complete control of the company.
The proposed joint venture is the latest in a trend towards consolidation of the European automotive glazing sector, with 90% of the market now in the hands of three suppliers.
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