NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Crestview Partners is seeking a buyer for Key Safety Systems, a Michigan supplier of airbags, seat-belt systems and other car safety components that could be valued at more than $800 million, according to several people familiar with the matter.
Crestview, a New York-based private equity firm, has tapped Goldman Sachs Group and UBS AG to run a sale process for the company, which it acquired in 2007 for an undisclosed sum, the people said this week.
Key Safety Systems, based in Sterling Heights, Mich., generates over 65 percent of its sales outside of North America.
The supplier had revenue of $1.03 billion in 2012, according to Moody's Investors Service Inc., and is expected to have earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of around $115 million in 2013, one of the people said.
It was an early pioneer of automotive safety systems in the 1960s, according to its Web site. Key Safety customers include Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group and General Motors.
The sources pointed to Stockholm-based Autoliv as a peer of Key Safety Systems that can be used for valuation comparisons. Autoliv, which has a market value of $8.6 billion, trades at 7 times 12-month projected EBITDA, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Crestview, Goldman Sachs and UBS declined to comment. Key Safety Systems did not respond to a request for comment.
Key Safety Systems' auction comes as Crestview is about to complete the acquisition of another automotive parts supplier, Stackpole International. Crestview is buying Ancaster, Ontario-based Stackpole from private equity peer Sterling Group for around $500 million, according to Moody's.
The auction, which is in its initial stages, has drawn interest from other companies in the automotive sector as well as buyout firms, the people added, asking not to be identified because the sale process is confidential.