Delphi Exercises Option to Gain Equity Stake in Duraswitch
20 June 2000Company Broadens Access to Leading Edge Switch Technology
WARREN, Ohio - Delphi Automotive Systems exercised a call option to acquire in excess of 1.65 million shares of Duraswitch Industries Inc. common stock, representing approximately 18 percent of DuraSwitch's outstanding shares, Delphi announced today. "An equity stake in DuraSwitch adds a strategic switch component to Delphi's technology portfolio, and will enable Delphi to pursue growth beyond the automotive market," said David Heilman, vice president, Delphi, president, Delphi Packard Electric Systems. "This also allows Delphi to participate in expanded development of DuraSwitch's technology." The option to purchase the shares by June 30, 2000, was part of an agreement Delphi and DuraSwitch announced on April 25, 2000. The agreement provided Delphi exclusive rights to utilize and manufacture DuraSwitch's revolutionary magnetically coupled switch technology for the automotive industry. The equity stake also provides for Delphi representation on DuraSwitch's board of directors. Background on April 25 announcement: DuraSwitch's leading edge technology utilizes a patented, revolutionary magnetic-based design that provides previously unheard of reliability and durability, with a consistent tactile feedback, or "click." This specialized technology enables the switches to be used in applications where either membrane or electro-mechanical switches are currently used. It easily incorporates into flat panel, electronically integrated switch packaging, currently required in advanced electrical/electronic architectures and in demand by vehicle manufacturers. Utilizing DuraSwitch technology will enable Delphi to grow its current switch business. The intent is to begin moving away from some of the electro- mechanical switches typically used in vehicles and replace them with DuraSwitch technology, which has fewer parts. By doing so, switch degradation and failure rates can be minimized, leading directly to more satisfied vehicle buyers. Multi-national Delphi Automotive Systems, with headquarters in Troy, Mich., USA, Paris, Tokyo and Sao Paulo, Brazil, is a world leader in transportation and mobile electronics components and systems technology. Delphi's three business sectors -- Dynamics & Propulsion; Safety, Thermal & Electrical Architecture; and Electronics and Mobile Communication -- provide comprehensive product solutions to complex customer needs. Delphi has approximately 213,000 employees and operates 176 wholly owned manufacturing sites, 41 joint ventures, 53 customer centers and sales offices and 30 technical centers in 38 countries.