TRW sells MMI business

TRW has agreed to sell its Man-Machine Interface business to ITT Industries of White Plains, New York. The sale price will be approximately $60 million, subject to potential post-closing adjustments.

Man-Machine Interface produces keypads, switch arrays and related assemblies primarily for use in personal communication devices, such as cell phone handsets and personal digital assistance products. Headquartered in Hampton, Virginia, MMI employs 380 people and has manufacturing locations in Loveland, Colorado, USA; Roche, UK; and Tianjin, China. The business had annual sales of approximately $43 million in 1999.

‘The Man-Machine Interface business has excellent growth prospects in light of the booming telecommunications industry, but it does not fit with TRW’s long-term business plan,’ said Heinz Pfannschmidt, executive vice president and general manager, TRW Automotive Electronics. ‘We are pleased to have found a buyer who will continue to invest in the business and support ongoing customer initiatives.’

Proceeds from the divestiture will be used to reduce debt TRW incurred from its 1999 acquisition of LucasVarity plc.

In the first six months of 2000, TRW reduced net debt by approximately $1.5 billion. This amount, coupled with the $1.0 billion of net debt reduction achieved in 1999, enabled TRW to reach its $2.5 billion debt reduction goal established at the time of the LucasVarity acquisition six months ahead of schedule. The sale of the MMI is a component of the programme to reduce debt by an additional $300 million by the end of this year.

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