NGK agrees to buy Wells vehicle electronics business

NGK Spark Plug Co. Ltd. of Japan will become the new owner of Wisconsin-based vehicle electronics manufacturer Wells Manufacturing LP as part of $257.5 million deal scheduled to close July 1, 2015.

On May 8, NGK announced an agreement to acquire all shares of UCI Acquisition Holdings Corp., which owns Wells, from UCI Holdings Limited.

Wells offers components such as switches, ignition coils and the pressure sensors to the automotive aftermarket. NGK says Wells has the top global share in spark plugs and exhaust oxygen sensors used in the automotive and other markets.

The company says it has been pursuing various opportunities, including expanding both the product line-up and improving penetration in various distribution channels in order to strengthen its automotive components business.

“Wells is an ideal candidate for our expansion efforts and is a well-known automotive parts manufacturer with more than 100 years of history in the United States. Wells has exposure to the growing segment of vehicle electronics with broad product lines, whose main products include switches, ignition coils and pressure sensors. Wells has built a leading position in the US automotive repair market and is working to increase its sales outside of the U.S.”

A part of UCI-FRAM Group, Wells is a source of advanced vehicle electronics components for replacement applications in the automotive, marine, off-highway, industrial and heavy-duty industries.

Headquartered in Fond du Lac, Wis., the company was established in 1903 and offers more than 38,000 parts, including distributor caps and rotors, ignition coils, control modules, sensors, wire and cable sets, emissions components, switches, fuel system components and voltage regulators. David Peace is CEO.

The company’s U.S. sales were $222 million and operating profit was $25 million for the fiscal year ended December 2014.  For more information, visit www.WellsVE.com.

NGK, which is headquartered in Nagoya, Japan, is a ceramics processing manufacturer. The company employs more than 13,000 people and produces spark plugs and automotive sensors and also offers packages, cutting tools, bio ceramics and industrial ceramics.  For more information, visit the company’s website.

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