DETROIT -- U.S. automotive supplier Visteon Corp. is shopping two of its four units to pare low-margin revenue and focus on faster-growing operations in Asia, five people familiar with the sales process said.
Visteon, which exited a 16-month bankruptcy last October, aims to divest its lighting and interiors units to other suppliers, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private.
The divisions brought in about $2.7 billion in revenue last year and may fetch as much as $450 million combined. Rothschild is representing Visteon in both efforts, one of the people said.
Visteon CEO Don Stebbins hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to do a broader strategic review, the company said on Oct. 17.
Independent board members such as Harry Wilson and Tim Leuliette pressed Stebbins to interview banks such as Goldman, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. to help streamline a company with most of its value in joint ventures or stakes in overseas businesses, said two people familiar with the process.
Visteon is a former unit of Ford Motor Co.
"Capital is still relatively scarce," said Don Luciani, a managing partner at Amherst Partners LLC, a Birmingham, Mich.-based investment-banking firm. "We're seeing less patience for investing in marginally performing business units. In a lot of cases, that means selling, which provides capital companies can reinvest in higher growth, better return businesses and eliminate the need to invest in the business."
Michigan-based Visteon plans to buy the remaining 30 percent of Halla Climate Control Corp., a publicly traded Daejon, South Korea-based maker of vehicle air conditioners and heaters, the people said.
Visteon shares gained $6.02, or almost 12 percent, to close Friday at $57.18 in New York Stock Exchange trading.
Visteon shares, which peaked at $75.75 in January, had fallen 32 percent this year before today.
Visteon's market capitalization, currently at $2.78 billion, has been less than the combined value of its stakes in Halla and Shanghai-based Yanfeng Visteon Automotive Trim Systems Co., a joint venture with SAIC Motor Corp., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Visteon now has a third of the revenue it had in 2000, when it was spun off from Ford as a standalone company.
Originally dependent on the North American market, last year Visteon said it generated 40 percent of its sales from Asia and 36 percent from Europe.
"There is opportunity to further transform the company by consolidating joint ventures or divesting noncore businesses to unlock shareholder value," John Murphy, an analyst at Bank of America, wrote in a research note on Sept. 20.