LucasVarity plans pounds 200m disposals

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The Independent Online
LucasVarity, the newly merged Anglo-American car components and aerospace group, is expected to unveil details of a restructuring plan involving the streamlining of senior management and the disposal of businesses with sales of about pounds 200m within the next two months.

Analysts believe that high on the list as candidates for sale are Rists, the group's vehicle wiring business, and its battery joint venture in the UK with Yuasa. Lucas's car brakes venture with Sumitomo in the US and Varity's US truck brakes and wheels subsidiary, Dayton Walther, may also be disposed of.

Sir Brian Pearse, chairman of LucasVarity, played down the impact on jobs, however. "Redundancies should not be significant and any changes will be relatively gradual. The two companies were very complementary, they fitted just like a jigsaw, so it will take a little time before the outside world sees any difference," he said.

LucasVarity has already said that 50 of the top 150 managers will be surplus to requirements. The "transition team", assembled by chief executive Victor Rice to examine other areas of overlap and the overall structure of the group, is now looking at the next tier of management.

The group also disclosed that it is poised to sign a contract to supply its new electronic brake actuation system to a European volume car manufacturer.

Investment, page 25

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