Adient adds Ford exec to board

Spin-off financing taking shape

Adient will be a leading producer of seating system when it is spun off from Johnson Controls.

Adient, the planned spin-off of Glendale-based Johnson Controls Inc.’s automotive seating business, will add Ford Motor Co. executive Barb J. Samardzich to its board of directors.

Adient will be a leading producer of seating system when it is spun off from Johnson Controls.
Adient will be a leading producer of seating system when it is spun off from Johnson Controls.

Samardzich currently serves as chief operating officer of Ford in Europe, a role she has held since November 2013. She recently announced she will retire from the company, effective Oct. 1.

“Barb is an experienced global leader who adds significant international automotive industry experience to Adient’s board,” said Bruce McDonald, Adient’s incoming chairman and chief executive officer. “Her knowledge is a perfect complement to the broad industry expertise of the Adient board members. I am confident that Barb’s insight will strengthen the Adient brand and company performance.”

Samardzich is the seventh member of the board to be announced. A total of eight directors are expected to be named.

Other members include McDonald; John Barth, retired chairman and CEO, Johnson Controls; Julie L. Bushman, senior vice president, Business Transformation and Information Technology, 3M Co.; Raymond L. Conner, vice chairman, The Boeing Co. and president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes; Richard Goodman, retired executive vice president, PepsiCo Inc.; Frederick A. Henderson, chairman and CEO, SunCoke Energy and SunCoke Energy Partners GP.

Johnson Controls also announced several elements of its financing plan for the spin-off.

Adient Global Holdings Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Johnson Controls, will offer $2 billion in dollar- and Euro-denominated unsecured notes due in 2026 and 2024, respectively. The offering will be made through a private placement.

The company also closed its new senior secured credit facilities comprised of a $1.5 billion term loan A facility and a $1.5 billion revolving credit facility.

The net proceeds of the offering and the new credit facilities are intended to be used to make approximately $3 billion in cash transfers to Johnson Controls in connection with the spin-off. Adient will use any remaining proceeds for general corporate purposes.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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