Johnson Controls to spin off Automotive Experience division

Glendale-based Johnson Controls Inc. recently announced it plans to spin off its Automotive Experience business to create a separate company.

The tax-free split would form a new publicly traded company, and is expected to be finished in about a year. Johnson Controls did not say where the new company will be based.
Bruce McDonald, vice chairman and executive vice president of Johnson Controls, will serve as chairman and chief executive officer of the new company, and Beda Bolzenius, president of the Automotive Experience division, will serve as president and chief operating officer of the new company.
The Automotive Experience division, which includes vehicle seating, interiors and electronics, reported $22 billion in revenue last year, and Johnson Controls has touted its well-established position in the marketplace and in growth locations like China. On July 2, Johnson Controls established a $4.5 billion joint venture between its automotive interiors business and Yanfeng Automotive Interiors to form the largest automotive interiors company in the world.
“This is a great opportunity for our Automotive Experience business to further its position as the global leader in automotive seating and interiors,” said Alex Molinaroli, chairman and chief executive officer of Johnson Controls. “At the same time, Johnson Controls will move forward with our multi-industrial strategies and make investments in our core growth platforms around buildings and energy storage.”
Johnson Controls is also in the process of completing the $1.5 billion sale of its Global WorkPlace Solutions business to the CBRE Group, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter. At the same time, the company has started a complete review of its costs. In June, it hired Greg Guyett as executive vice president, corporate development, effective Aug. 10 to lead merger and acquisition activities, maintain existing and foster new relationships with external financial advisory firms, and assist with company growth initiatives.
Johnson Controls has 170,000 employees serving customers in more than 150 countries. It makes products, services and solutions to optimize the energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles.

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.