2003-09

Carlyle Management Group To Acquire Breed Technologies, Inc.

Dallas, Texas – Carlyle Management Group (“CMG”) announced today that an affiliate of CMG has signed a definitive purchase agreement to acquire Breed Technologies, Inc. (“Breed”). With over $1 billion in sales, Breed is a leading designer and manufacturer of automotive occupant safety systems, including airbags, seatbelts and steering wheels. Breed will be an affiliate of CMG’s Key Automotive Group L.L.C., which also includes Key Plastics, L.L.C. (“Key”) of Farmington Hills, MI. The transaction is subject to customary conditions and regulatory approval and is expected to close in April 2003.


Founded in 1987, Breed is one of the automotive industry’s safety leaders. Breed’s products are used in more than 300 vehicle models produced by over 45 automobile manufacturers throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Breed’s customers include General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Co., Fiat, Hyundai, PSA, Volkswagen and many others. Breed’s global reach consists of 32 manufacturing, technical and sales facilities located in 12 countries. The company has operations in seven states in the U.S.


B. Edward Ewing, the CEO of CMG and Chairman and CEO of Key Automotive Group, said: “I am very excited about the proposed acquisition of Breed Technologies. The acquisition reflects our long-term commitment to the global automotive industry and an important next step in the growth and development of the Key Automotive Group. Breed has excellent technologies and products, and we will install the financial and operational discipline needed to ensure that Breed remains an innovative, cost-competitive and financially-stable supplier of automotive safety systems to our customers around the world.”


John Riess, the Chairman and CEO of Breed Technologies, noted the importance of the proposed acquisition to the company: “ CMG has a demonstrated track record of financial and operating excellence, and throughout this process their team has shown a keen understanding of the issues facing Breed Technologies, the safety systems market, and the automotive industry as a whole. I am confident that this transaction will benefit the customers and employees of Breed for years to come.”


CMG has formed Key Automotive Group to hold its investment in various independent automotive acquisitions. Key Automotive Group already holds CMG’s equity interest in Key Plastics, L.L.C., acquired by CMG in April 2001. In December 2002, Key Plastics acquired the assets and the business of Soo Plastics.


Under CMG’s leadership, Key Plastics has experienced a dramatic operational turnaround. In 2002, Key Plastics was named one of six “Quest for Excellence” award winners in the Plastic Component Suppliers category by Automotive Industries magazine. Quest for Excellence awards are granted based on responses from 12,000 of the magazine readers who have direct contact or responsibilities with automotive suppliers.


Key Plastics CEO Ed Ewing said: “I am pleased with the recognition by the automotive community of the strides we have made at Key Plastics. Nonetheless, we have significant work ahead of us in this competitive industry to achieve our full potential and realize the vision we have for all CMG companies, which is to have employees, customers and shareholders say we are a great management team. We have only just begun.”


Based in Dallas, Texas, CMG is the turnaround and special situation investment affiliate of The Carlyle Group, a global investment firm with over $13.9 billion of committed capital under management. The equity for this transaction will come from Carlyle Management Group Partners, L.P., CMG’s $590 million dedicated private equity fund. Citicorp USA and Merrill Lynch Capital have provided a joint financing commitment for the transaction. After the acquisition of Breed Technologies is complete, Key Automotive Group will have more than $1.7 billion in sales and 18,000 employees. The Group will have operations in 15 countries in North America, Europe and Asia.