Carlyle Management Group to acquire Breed Technologies

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 5, 2003

Dallas, Texas n Carlyle Management Group (&uot;CMG&uot;) announced today that an affiliate of CMG has signed a definitive purchase agreement to acquire Breed Technologies, Inc.


With over $1 billion in sales, Breed is a leading designer and manufacturer of automotive occupant safety systems, including airbags, seatbelts and steering wheels.

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Breed will be an affiliate of CMG's Key Automotive Group L.L.C., which also includes Key Plastics, L.L.C. (&uot;Key&uot;) of Farmington Hills, MI.

The transaction is subject to customary conditions and regulatory approval and is expected to close in April 2003.

&uot;Plant-wide meetings will be held this afternoon with every employee to answer what questions we can,&uot; said Greenville plant manager Randy Nycamp.

&uot;All of the long term Breed employees have enough experience with ownership change to know this means at least some change is inevitable.

However, we are not overly concerned because CMG & Key Automotive Group has the resources and ability to enhance our company’s future.

In addition, we are very confident that the Greenville plant’s contribution to our customers and organization is significant, important, and necessary – no matter who owns us.

Job security in the automotive business only comes from approaching perfection as it pertains to taking care of customers, employees, and the parent corporation.

I’m happy to say that we are right on target in all three areas.&uot;

Founded in 1987, Breed is one of the automotive industry's safety leaders.

Breed's products are used in more than 300 vehicle models produced by over 45 automobile manufacturers throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.

Breed's customers include General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Co., Fiat, Hyundai, PSA, Volkswagen and many others.

Breed's global reach consists of 32 manufacturing, technical and sales facilities located in 12 countries.

The company has operations in seven states in the U.S.

&uot;I am very excited about the proposed acquisition of Breed Technologies,&uot; said B. Edward Ewing, the CEO of CMG and Chairman and CEO of Key Automotive Group. The acquisition reflects our long-term commitment to the global automotive industry and an important next step in the growth and development of the Key Automotive Group.

Breed has excellent technologies and products, and we will install the financial and operational discipline needed to ensure that Breed remains an innovative, cost-competitive and financially-stable supplier of automotive safety systems to our customers around the world.&uot;

John Riess, the Chairman and CEO of Breed Technologies, noted the importance of the proposed acquisition to the company:

&uot; CMG has a demonstrated track record of financial and operating excellence, and throughout this process their team has shown a keen understanding of the issues facing Breed Technologies, the safety systems market, and the automotive industry as a whole.

I am confident that this transaction will benefit the customers and employees of Breed for years to come.&uot;

CMG has formed Key Automotive Group to hold its investment in various independent automotive acquisitions.

Key Automotive Group already holds CMG's equity interest in Key Plastics, L.L.C., acquired by CMG in April 2001.

In December 2002, Key Plastics acquired the assets and the business of Soo Plastics.