| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Oct 11 Crestview Partners is seeking a
buyer for Key Safety Systems, a supplier of airbags, seatbelt
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.
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.
Key Safety Systems is expected to have earnings before
interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of around
$115 million in 2013, one of the people said.
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.
Sterling Heights, Michigan-based Key Safety Systems supplies
car safety components including airbags, seat belts, steering
wheels and position and movement sensors. The company generates
over 65 percent of its sales outside of North America.
Key Safety Systems had revenue of $1.03 billion in 2012,
according to Moody's Investors Service Inc.
The company was an early pioneer of automotive safety
systems in the 1960s, according to its website. The vast
majority of its revenue is contracted as its safety equipment
has become a staple in cars made by the likes of Ford Motor Co
, Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Co.
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.