Eaton to sell Vehicle Switch/Electronics Division to Delphi Automotive Systems


CLEVELAND, OHIO… Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation today said it has reached an agreement to sell its Automotive Vehicle Switch/Electronics Division (VS/ED) to Delphi Automotive Systems (NYSE:DPH) for $300 million. The cash transaction is expected to be completed following customary regulatory reviews. Eaton said the proceeds would be used to reduce short-term debt.

VS/ED, which is headquartered in Downers Grove, Illinois, and has approximately 3,850 employees at eight primary facilities in North America, South America and Europe, had 2000 sales of $320 million. The division manufactures a wide range of electro-mechanical and mechatronic controls, including column switches; control modules for windows, doors and other customer courtesy uses; electronic controllers; instrument panel and console switches; lighting centers; transmission switches; and security, under-the-hood and door jamb switches.

Eaton, which had Automotive Segment sales in 2000 of $1.8 billion, had indicated last August that it intended to sell VS/ED because the business no longer fit the company's longer-term strategic objectives. The company noted that the vehicle interior segment is consolidating rapidly in response to an industry-wide move toward integrated cockpit systems solutions, and that Eaton was not in a position to lead the consolidation.

Stephen M. Buente, Eaton senior vice president and group executive-Automotive, said, "We are pleased that our VS/ED employees will be joining a company with the industry presence and reputation that Delphi maintains. Delphi's presence in the automotive electronics market, when combined with VS/ED, will create an enterprise ideally situated to capitalize on industry trends and provide VS/ED with a platform for attractive future growth. VS/ED has an excellent workforce and a culture that is very compatible with Delphi's, and it is our hope and expectation that this transaction will be beneficial to both franchises."

With 2000 sales of $8.3 billion, Eaton is a global diversified industrial manufacturer of highly engineered products that serve industrial, vehicle, construction, commercial and aerospace markets. Principal products include hydraulic products and fluid connectors, electrical power distribution and control equipment, truck drivetrain systems, engine components and a wide variety of controls. The company has 59,000 employees and 195 manufacturing sites in 24 countries.


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Renald Romain

William Hartman, vice president, Investor Relations