Shares of Visteon Corp. climbed to the highest price in more than three months after Mando Corp. said it may bid for Visteon’s 70 percent stake in Halla Climate Control Corp., Mando’s former affiliate.
Visteon rose 8.7 percent to end at $46.16 in New York Thursday, the highest close since May 7. The shares have declined 7.6 percent this year amid Visteon’s faltering efforts to shed lower-margin units and concentrate on faster-growing operations focused on Asia.
Visteon, the U.S. auto-parts maker spun off from Ford Motor Co. in 2000, has surged 31 percent since Aug. 7 on speculation it may attract a bid for Halla Climate shares or an outright takeover offer. Mando hired an adviser, though no decision has been made on an offer, South Korea’s second-largest maker of auto parts said in a regulatory filing Thursday.
Halla Climate shares rose 2.7 percent to 24,500 won at the close in Seoul, increasing the company’s market value to 2.6 trillion won (2.3 billion). Mando gained 0.3 percent.
Jim Fisher, a spokesman for Van Buren Township, Michigan-based Visteon, declined to comment.
Visteon in July failed in an attempt to buy the remaining 30 percent of Halla Climate, which makes automotive air conditioners. South Korea’s National Pension Service, which owns 8.1 percent of Halla, rejected the U.S. company’s offer and reached a preliminary agreement to give Mando preferred bidder status for the fund’s stake.
Visteon in July also ended an agreement to sell the majority of its interiors business to its joint venture with Huayu Automotive Systems Co.
Visteon Chief Executive Officer Don Stebbins resigned on Aug. 10 and the company’s board installed Tim Leuliette as interim chairman, president and CEO.
Ryan Brinkman, an analyst with JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York, raised his price target on Visteon to $50 from $35. He valued Visteon on a sum-of-its-parts basis at $56 a share.
“Visteon’s new management is incrementally motivated to better realize the value of the sum of the firm’s various parts over a shorter duration,” Brinkman wrote in a research note. He rates the company’s shares neutral.
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