Chinese car parts manufacturer Hebei Lingyun Industrial Group Corporation, today agreed to buy German peer Kiekert from a group of investors for an undisclosed sum.
Kiekert, owned by an investor group that includes hedge funds BlueBay Asset Management, Silver Point Capital and Morgan Stanley, is the world's largest manufacturer of door locks for cars and inventor of the modern central locking system.
As innovation driver and manufacturer of most of its own inventions, Kiekert holds more than 850 patents.
With production and R&D facilities in Germany, the Czech Republic, the US, Mexico, and China, Kiekert, founded over 150 years ago, was able to increase its turnover, even during the global financial crisis in 2009/2010.
The Heiligenhaus, Germany-based company achieved a turnover of more than €500 million in 2011, after it sold more than 41 million latch systems - the highest production volume in the history of the company.
Kieker has a technological joint venture in China with Henan Xingguang Automotive Lock Co. The joint venture was formed in 2005, with Kiekert holding a 25 per cent stake.