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Cooley Advises Johnson Controls on $7.5 Billion Joint Venture With SAIC's Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems

SHANGHAI, CHINA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/21/14 -- Cooley LLP announced today that it advised Johnson Controls on the formation of a global automotive interiors joint venture with Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems Co., Ltd. The transaction is subject to limited conditions and is expected to close in the first half of 2015.

Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader, creating quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles.

Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Huayu Automotive Systems Co., Ltd. (HASCO), the component group of Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), which is China's largest state-owned automaker.

The joint venture, which has not yet been named, will form the largest automotive interiors company in the world with revenues reaching approximately $7.5 billion. Yanfeng will hold a 70 percent share in the joint venture and Johnson Controls will hold a 30 percent share. The company will be headquartered in Shanghai with global engineering, development and customer centers in the United States, Europe, China, Japan and India. It will have more than 90 plants located across China, Europe and North America.

The venture will be incorporated in the new Shanghai Free Trade Zone and will be the largest manufacturing enterprise to be established in the zone. The JV also signifies a major step by HASCO, Yanfeng's parent, as part of its globalization strategy in the context of a new round in China's restructuring of its state-owned business.

The Cooley team advising Johnson Controls was led by attorneys based in its Shanghai office, including partner Christina Zhang and associates James Lu, Oak Ma and Hunter Qiu.

Critical support for the transaction was provided by Cooley attorneys in the firm's various US offices, including partners Kevin Mills, Aaron Pomeroy, Howard Morse, David Walsh, Kevin King, John Lavoie, Jacqueline Grise, Mark Windfeld-Hansen, Jeremy Naylor and Stephen Gardner; special counsel Kristine Leavy, Julie Wicklund and Rama Padmanabhan; and associates Tanisha James, Sara Swain, Christopher Kimball, Michelle Schulman and Karen Tsai.

About Cooley LLP

Cooley's attorneys solve legal issues for entrepreneurs, investors, financial institutions and established companies. Clients partner with Cooley on transformative deals, complex IP and regulatory matters, and bet-the-company litigation, often where innovation meets the law.

Cooley has more than 750 lawyers across 11 offices in the United States and China.

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Thomas Freeman
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