Libbey Sells Stake: Nippon Sheet Glass Co. of Japan has agreed to purchase a 20% stake in Libbey-Owens-Ford for $235 million.
Libbey, which controls about 29% of the U.S. market for automotive glass, signed a $1.6-billion deal with General Motors Corp. in January to supply half of the car maker’s glass needs in North America over the next five years. Libbey is the U.S. subsidiary of the British firm Pilkington.
NSG, Japan’s second-largest maker of flat and safety glass, is a major supplier to Japanese car makers, Pilkington said. “We feel foreign assemblers in North America are more likely to be available to Libbey with this participation,” said Tony Cove, Pilkington’s public relations director.
The British company, the world’s second-largest car glass maker, bought a 29.5% share of Libbey in 1982. It exchanged the holding for the whole of the company’s glass-making business four years later.
Libbey and NSG already have joint ventures in car glass factories in the United States, Mexico, South Korea and Taiwan. Cove said the deal, expected to be completed in a few months, could open markets for Pilkington in Southeast Asia and Japan.