DETROIT --- Visteon Corp. today spurned Johnson Controls Inc.'s $1.25 billion unsolicited cash offer for the bankrupt supplier's interiors and electronics units -- and questioned JCI's motives.
"The proposal continues to lack important information and remains highly conditional," Visteon said in a statement, issued about two hours after JCI disclosed its bid. "It is unclear at this point whether this proposal holds out any real prospect of enhancing value to Visteon's constituents."
Visteon said JCI's offer stirred up a history of strained relations and accused its rival of attempting to disrupt its exit from bankruptcy.
JCI "is a direct competitor that stands to benefit by introducing delay and complexity into the Visteon reorganization process," Visteon said.
"Visteon has had extensive and difficult experiences with (JCI) in prior transactions. We are mindful that exploring a transaction of this size and scope at this time could distract the company from its primary objective of completing the ongoing reorganization process in a manner that enhances value for all of our constituents."
Visteon said it expects "further dialogue" with JCI, but that it would continue to pursue plans to emerge from Chapter 11 soon.
JCI, in its statement, said it first approached Visteon about the deal in January, and again on May 7 and May 20.
Jacqueline Strayer, JCI’s vice president of corporate communication, said JCI went public today because it wanted to make its interest known before Visteon’s reorganization plan hearing on Monday.
“This is not something that has transpired recently,” Strayer said. “We’ve been interested for months in this part of the business.”
Visteon's presence in China's automotive interiors and electronics market is a main driver of the interest, JCI said in a statement today. Combining Visteon's Chinese operations with JCI's 23 joint ventures and 40 manufacturing facilities in that nation could generate more than $7 billion in revenue for JCI's automotive business in 2011, JCI said.
“We believe that Visteon's interiors and electronics businesses would be an excellent strategic fit with our automotive experience business,” JCI CEO Stephen Roell said in the statement.
“This acquisition would significantly expand our automotive interior technologies and capabilities. It would provide global scale and complementary products to our automotive electronics offerings. Importantly, it would broaden and deepen our global automotive customer relationships.”
In recent months, Visteon and its creditors have been sparring with shareholders over the company's reorganization plans in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. The next hearing is set for Monday in Wilmington.