TRW Automotive Drives Ahead Under Blackstone

TRW Automotive – safety systems leader drives ahead under Blackstone

LIVONIA, MICHIGAN March 3, 2003 – TRW Automotive today announced the completion of the $4.73 billion purchase of the company by affiliates of The Blackstone Group. With the closing of the sale, Blackstone and management now own 80.4 percent of the business while Northrop Grumman retains 19.6%. 

“This is a milestone for TRW Automotive as the company emerges as an independent, top-ten global supplier,” said President and CEO John Plant. “The company is now 100 percent focused on the needs of automotive customers, and we have an exciting opportunity to capitalize on our position as the global leader in automotive safety.” 

Blackstone Senior Managing Director Neil Simpkins said, “We are delighted to expand our participation in the automotive business with one of the industry’s premier suppliers. We have been impressed with the management team, the people and the performance of the company and look forward to supporting the company’s exciting future growth prospects.” 

Commenting on the sale, Plant said, “This is obviously a win all around for Northrop, our new investors and for TRW Automotive. As evidenced by the strong market reception for the recent TRW Automotive bond offering, we believe we have a sound future built on a great portfolio of products, excellent technologies, solid customer relationships and outstanding people.” 

TRW Automotive is among the most diversified in the industry in terms of customers, product lines and global scope. TRW’s worldwide network of manufacturing facilities supplies customers in all major automotive producing regions. The company believes that its technology-enhanced, safety-driven product portfolio should position it for a growth rate higher than that of the overall global market for light vehicle production over the next several years. 

TRW Automotive’s sales place it eighth largest among the world’s automotive suppliers. Now the seventh largest firm headquartered in the Detroit Metropolitan area, the company employs approximately 64,000 people in 22 countries. 

TRW Automotive is headquartered in Livonia, Michigan, USA. Its products include integrated vehicle control and driver assist systems, braking systems, steering systems, suspension systems, occupant safety systems (seat belts and airbags), electronics, engine valves, fastening systems and aftermarket replacement parts. TRW Automotive news is available on the Internet at

The Blackstone Group, a private investment bank with offices in New York and London, was founded in 1985. The firm has raised a total of approximately $24 billion for alternative asset investing since its formation. The Blackstone Group’s six core businesses are Private Equity Investing, Private Real Estate Investing, Corporate Debt Investing, Marketable Alternative Asset Management, Mergers and Acquisitions Advisory, and Restructuring and Reorganization Advisory. The acquisition of TRW Automotive represents the first investment made from Blackstone’s recently raised $6.45 billion BCP IV private equity fund.

Blackstone was advised in this transaction by JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers.