Arvin Industries Inc. has agreed to pay $276 million to acquire the Purolator Products automotive filter business from Mark IV Industries Inc.
Purolator, with sales of $345 million last year, is expected to fit into Arvin's automotive replacement growth strategy. Purolator produces automotive oil, air, fuel and cabin filters in North America for the replacement and original-equipment markets. Arvin of Columbus, Ind., makes exhaust and ride-control systems. It expects to close the deal before April. The Purolator Products Division of Mark IV is headquartered in Tulsa, Okla.
FUEL CELLS - A subsidiary of Honda Motor Co. has awarded a $1.4 million contract to Ballard Power Systems Ltd. to supply fuel cells. Honda will use the cells in its research and development of fuel-cell-powered electric vehicles. Ballard, of Vancouver, British Columbia, develops and manufactures fuel cells for use in transportation, electricity generation and portable products. Ballard's customers include General Motors, Volvo, Volkswagen and Nissan.
SOFTWARE - Parametric Technology Corp. has received a $3 million order to provide software and services to Fiat Auto S.p.A. of Turin, Italy. Fiat is expanding its use of design automation software products. Parametric is based in Waltham, Mass.
MOVE - Datron Technology Inc. has moved its offices to a larger building to accommodate a new advanced vehicle instrumentation workshop and technical center in Southfield, Mich. The company designs and manufactures sensors and data-acquisition systems for vehicle testing and development.
ACQUISITION - Oxford Automotive Inc. has acquired Cofimeta Group from France's Groupe Valfond SA. Cofimeta, an automotive stamping and metal-forming company with annual sales of $200 million, operates five manufacturing plants in France that employ 1,600. Cofimeta's customers include Renault, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, Toy-ota, Volkswagen, BMW and Nissan. Oxford Automotive, of Troy, Mich., operates 21 plants in the United States, Mexico, Canada, South America and Europe. It is a Tier 1 designer and producer of metal components, assemblies and modules.
ACQUISITION - Automotive Performance Group Inc. of Garden Grove, Calif., has entered into an option agreement to purchase Advanced Chemistry & Technology Inc. Advanced Chemistry, also of Garden Grove, develops and manufactures aircraft sealant, specialty packaging materials and packaging services for the aircraft industry. Automotive Performance Group owns and operates performance automotive businesses that produce synthetic oil and chemical products.
JOINT VENTURE - Hella KG Hueck & Co. and Behr GmbH & Co. plan to develop and produce electronics for air conditioning and engine cooling. The new company, Behr-Hella Thermocontrol GmbH, which will be formed this year, is expected to focus on electronic control and regulating systems. Last year, both suppliers agreed to develop jointly and produce front-end modules. Hella, of Lippstadt, Germany, and Behr, of Stuttgart, agreed to locate the venture in Stuttgart.
HONORS - Product Action International Inc. of Indianapolis received the State of Indiana Quality Improvement Award. Product Action International was recognized for earning ISO-9002 certification and making continuous, measurable advances in quality improvement. The company provides sorting, inspection, rework and containment services for original equipment manufacturers and their suppliers.
EXPANSION - Arvin Replace-ment Products' ride control plant in Chickasha, Okla., is adding a 70,000-square-foot distribution center. The $2 million project is scheduled for completion in June. Arvin will hire 70 to 80 employees to work in the center.
EXPANSION - Jiffy-Tite Co., of Lancaster, N.Y., has a new 32,000-square-foot world headquarters. Jiffy-Tite supplies fluid couplers and employs nearly 100 people. The company plans to increase production capability and invest in research and development equipment.
EXPANSION - Axis Group Inc. of Decatur, Ga., established a new subsidiary, Arrendadora de Equipo Para El Transporte de Automoviles S. de R.L. de C. The subsidiary leases car-hauling equipment to Mexican car carriers. It is based in Mexico City. Axis Group Inc. provides logistics services to the automotive industry. It is a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Allied Holdings Inc.
ACQUISITION - Methode Fiber Optic Products of Chicago bought Stratos Ltd. of the United Kingdom. Stratos is a leader in the development and production of fiber optic connectors for harsh environments. Methode Fiber Optic Products is a unit of Methode Electronics Inc., which supplies component devices for the original-equipment market. Its products employ electrical, electronic and optical technologies as sensors, inter- connections and controls.
ACQUISITION - Bergen Cable Technology Inc. of Lodi, N.J., was acquired from its parent corporation, Matec Corp., by a group of senior managers and private investors. Bergen supplies mechanical cable assemblies. Bergen operates out of New Jersey and Juarez, Mexico. It has about 250 employees.
ACQUISITION - Hollingsworth & Vose Co. of East Walpole, Mass., bought the assets of the advanced fiber nonwovens business of BBA Nonwovens Simpsonville Inc. of Simpsonville, S.C. The unit supplies materials composed of high-performance fibers for use in automotive applications. Hollings-worth & Vose manufactures technical and industrial papers and nonwoven fabrics.