Bridgestone Americas and Sumeru Equity Partners, Danlaw Inc. and other shareholders have reached an agreement for Bridgestone to buy Azuga Holdings Inc. and the Azuga fleet management platform.
The $ 391 million acquisition will accelerate Bridgestone’s efforts to develop and deploy sustainable mobility solutions as a central pillar of the company’s advanced mobility strategy. The transaction has been approved by each company’s board of directors and is expected to be finalized by the end of the third quarter, according to an announcement.
Bridgestone will assume ownership of Azuga’s brands and business platforms, pending customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. The Azuga fleet management platform, which includes advanced security and fleet management tools, will complement Bridgestone’s existing portfolio of cloud-based fleet mobility solutions.
The Azuga acquisition will rapidly advance Bridgestone’s complete solutions for small to large enterprise fleets, providing real-time insight into vehicle operations and data analytics that will improve safety, increase efficiency and will improve customer service experiences. Bridgestone will leverage Azuga’s robust fleet data capture platform to advance the development of Bridgestone’s core pneumatic products and AI solutions.
“Azuga is revolutionizing the way fleets do business in the United States with cutting-edge software and a rapid innovation process that will advance Bridgestone’s vision to be a sustainable solutions company,” said Paolo Ferrari, Director Global Solutions Sales Representative, Bridgestone Corporation; and President and CEO, Bridgestone Americas.
“We strive to provide the most sustainable and smart solutions for safer and more efficient mobility, and Azuga will help us accelerate their development and deployment to our customers,” said Ferrari.
Azuga will retain its headquarters in Silicon Valley. All Azuga employees and facilities in the United States and India will join Bridgestone upon completion of the transaction, the company said.
“Bridgestone’s focus on building a more sustainable future through mobility technologies is well aligned with Azuga’s mission,” said Ananth Rani, CEO of Azuga Holdings Inc. “Together, our teams will pursue the momentum that we have already created and will accelerate our path towards providing the most advanced mobility solutions for our customers and society.
Mark Haller, Director of Sumeru Equity Partners, said: “Since our initial investment in 2018, Azuga has grown rapidly to become a market leader in fleet management and mobility solutions. It has been a privilege to work with the Azuga team over the past three years, and we look forward to seeing Bridgestone and Azuga prosper together in the future. “
Acquisition of Azuga continues Bridgestone’s evolution to become a sustainable solutions company and builds on Bridgestone strategy recently announced investment in the autonomous long-haul trucking company Kodiak Robotics.
In other company news, Bridgestone ushered in a $ 51 million expansion of its Firestone Industrial Products (FSIP) air spring production facility in Williamsburg, Ky.
The 68,000 sq.ft. The expansion of the Williamsburg plant is aimed at meeting growing demand for the company’s air spring products, driven by the burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) industry. The expansion, which is expected to be completed by December 2022, will create 250 new jobs, an increase of nearly 50% from the more than 500 employees working at the facility today, according to the company.
“Today we are celebrating the vitality and growth of this factory and community, with new investment, new jobs and physical expansion driven by growing demand for our products and, just as fundamentally, by commitment. of this team to deliver innovation and superior quality to our customers here and around the world, ”said Emily Poladian, President of Firestone Industrial Products.
“Our Kentucky company and team have a critical role to play in transforming the mobility brought about by advanced electric vehicle systems and key supporting technologies such as our air springs and Firestone air suspensions,” said Poladian .
FSIP is a supplier of air suspensions for the electric vehicle industry. Firestone air suspensions not only help improve ride comfort and handling, but can also increase the range of electric vehicles and help protect batteries from road shocks and overheating. This new chapter is born out of a decades-long history of designing and supplying parts to the majority of commercial vehicle manufacturers in North America, according to an announcement.
Williamsburg plant workers and Bridgestone executives were joined for the celebration by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, US Congressman Hal Rogers, State Senator Robert Stivers, State Representative Regina Huff, Whitley County Executive Judge Pat White, Jr. and Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison.
“As we continue to build a better Kentucky for all of our families, I would like to thank Firestone Industrial Products for its partnership with Whitley County, the Eastern Kentucky region and the Commonwealth as a whole,” said the Governor of Kentucky, Andy Beshear. “This company has been a dedicated Commonwealth business partner for many years, and this investment demonstrates Firestone’s commitment to Kentucky as it creates 250 new jobs to meet the growing demand for advanced technologies in electric vehicles. Kentucky’s workforce remains a national leader in manufacturing and has made our state the perfect location for this expansion.
FSIP designs, tests and manufactures air suspension components in Williamsburg, Ky., Which is the only fully-fledged US manufacturer of this product category. FSIP operates a second factory, in Dyersburg, Tenn., Where the air springs are assembled. FSIP’s North America Advanced Engineering Design Center in Fishers, Indiana keeps the company agile and focus on speed to market, a key requirement for young vehicle companies electric. The company also operates factories in Brazil, China, Costa Rica and Poland.
FSIP purchased the Williamsburg building and land in 1988. The Williamsburg plant is currently 375,000 square feet. It is one of the largest employers in the region with over 500 employees.