April 16, 2015 / 5:05 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Magna to sell most of vehicle-interiors business for $525 mln

(In U.S. dollars unless noted)

April 16 (Reuters) - Canadian auto-parts maker Magna International Inc said on Thursday it will sell most of its vehicle-interiors operations to Spain’s Grupo Antolin for about $525 million.

The deal covers 36 manufacturing plants and about 12,000 employees in Europe, North America and Asia, the company said. It does not include Magna’s seat business.

The operations included in the agreement recorded about $2.4 billion in sales in 2014, Magna said. The company, which is a contract manufacturer as well as a parts supplier, reported $36.64 billion in sales in 2014.

“Overall, we regard the deal as positive as it takes (Magna) out of a challenging product area,” said Canaccord Genuity analyst David Tyerman in a note to clients. “Most industry players have had a difficult time making adequate returns from the segment.”

Magna Chief Executive Don Walker said in a release that the deal is part of a push to refine Magna’s portfolio, focusing on the key parts of vehicles.

The deal is subject to antitrust approvals and other customary conditions.

Magna’s shares were flat at C$66.65 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Allison Martell in Toronto and Darshana Sankararaman in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings; and Peter Galloway)

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