Asahi Kasei has decided to acquire Sage Automotive Interiors, Inc. (Sage), a US-based manufacturer of automotive interior material, for a cash transaction price of approximately $700 mn. An agreement regarding the acquisition was concluded between Asahi Kasei and Clearlake Sage Holdings, LLC, the 100 per cent owner of Sage.

Under its Cs for Tomorrow 2018 medium-term strategic initiative, Asahi Kasei is focused on expanding automotive-related business as a priority in the Material sector. The company is currently working across the sector to strengthen relationships with vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers while expanding operations globally.

The automotive industry is in a period of transformation referred to as CASE, indicating trends toward connected, autonomous, shared, and electric vehicles. Such new trends create significant growth opportunities, including demand for vehicle interiors with greater comfort and advanced design. The automotive interior-related market is thus expected to continue expanding over the longer term.

Asahi Kasei supplies Lamous™ microfibre suede to Sage, and the two companies have a long-standing mutually beneficial business relationship. A leader in the development and manufacture of fabric for automotive interiors, Sage holds the No. 1 global share for vehicle seat fabric. Sage has established a strong presence among vehicle manufacturers and Tier-1 suppliers based on its comprehensive proposal capabilities, advanced design capabilities, and processing technology related to automotive interior material.

Asahi Kasei considered complementing its business portfolio with Sage’s business to be an effective means of accelerating its expansion in the automotive field. Last October the two companies began talks that led to the agreement for Asahi Kasei’s acquisition of Sage. Asahi Kasei believes the acquisition will strengthen its position in the growing automotive interior-related market, contributing to the expansion of its automotive-related business.