Sumikin Bussan Enters Alliance with Korean Headrest Component Maker

Sumikin Bussan Corporation, a major steel dealer of Sumitomo Metal Industries Group, announced on Wednesday the firm enters capital and business alliance with Woobotech, South Korean headrest component maker, jointly with Arai Industrial and JR Manufacturing (JRM), the subsidiaries of Sumikin Bussan. Three companies, Woobotech, Arai Industrial and JRM, produce and sell headrest components for automobiles at total 730 units per year, which accounts for 10% in the global demand. Sumikin Bussan builds 7 production bases in the world through the alliance and expands the business globally, mainly in China and Asia.

Woobotech produces headrest and armrest for automobile. The company has high technology for moving mechanism components. The main customers are South Korean and European car makers. Sumikin Bussan and Arai Industrial hold Woobotech’s convertible bonds. They will convert the bonds to ordinary shares in 2013. Sumikin Bussan Group will hold 20% shares in Woobotech.

Arai Industrial produces headrest component for Japanese automakers. The company has exchanged technologies with Woobotech. JRM supplies the components to American car makers. Arai Industrial and JRM will introduce Woobotech’s mechanism elements and sell the products in Japan, North and South Americas.

Sumikin Bussan has 4 production bases, Arai Industrial in Japan, JRM’s Ohio and Tennessee plants and Productos Doblados de Mexico in Mexico. Woobotech operates 2 plants in South Korea and Ho chi Minh, Vietnam.