Johnson Controls buys CRH

Published 9:58 pm Tuesday, December 7, 2010

CRH is located on U.S. 31 south in Clanton.

Johnson Controls will purchase Clanton manufacturer CRH, as well as the rest of the Germany-based company.

The auto parts maker, which operates out of Milwaukee, plans to keep the CRH company name. CRH stands for C. Rob. Hammerstein Group, which is headquartered in Solingen, Germany.

“The acquisition of CRH will substantially enhance our seat product offering as it will advance our strong market position through global manufacturing capabilities, innovation and further optimization of our portfolio,” said Beda Bolzenius, president of Johnson Controls’ Automotive Experience, in a press release. “We will maintain the CRH band name as it is synonymous with high quality metal structures and components.”

The acquisition, pending regulatory approval, should be completed by the end of January 2011. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

“This transaction marks a very significant step in our history. We have carefully analyzed Johnson Controls’ proposal and concluded that it clearly represents a unique opportunity for the CRH Group to best meet the future challenges of our industry, such as fast growing globalization and platform standardization,” said Robert Houston, CEO of CRH, in a press release. “Together both companies intend to establish a best in class metal-organization within the global seating components business, which will be a milestone for CRH and will honor our family owned company.”

Locally, CRH officials said they couldn’t comment on the deal and what impact, if any, the change will have on the Clanton plant.

In Chilton County, CRH employs about 500 people and makes automobile seat structures for several different car companies.