Carlyle exits Japanese automobile parts maker(2)

The Carlyle Group has sold its stake in a Japanese automobile parts maker for $106 million to Tokyo-listed THK, manufacturer of liner motion systems.

The Carlyle Group and other shareholders have sold their shares in Rhythm Corporation, a Japanese automobile parts maker, to THK, a Tokyo-listed manufacturer of liner motion systems used in advanced mechatronics devices, for ¥12.6 billion ($106 million).

Carlyle and Rhythm’s management acquired the company in December 2004 for an undisclosed amount. Carlyle declined to comment on its returns from the investment.

Carlyle has since supported Rhythm to strengthen its business platform and expand its client base by entering the Chinese and other overseas markets, according to a statement.

Rhythm manufactures automobile parts used in key safety devices from steering mechanisms, suspension and brakes to transmissions. Rhythm and THK intend to combine their respective technologies to develop new products.

Tamotsu Adachi, managing director and head of Carlyle’s Japan buyout group said: “Faced with slowing domestic growth and weak performance of the Big Three US automakers, Rhythm needs even more aggressive plans to forge through these business challenges.”

The share transfer, supported by the company’s management, according to Adachi, “will help sharpen Rhythm’s competitive advantage.”