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Report: Takata Says It Has Identified Up to 30 Potential Investors

Investors’ identities remain hidden

Up to 30 different investors have shown interest in Takata, the airbag maker currently embroiled in a massive safety scandal, according to a new report from Automotive News. Companies in the auto industry make up roughly half of those expressing their interest, while one private equity investor also showed interest in giving the struggling Japanese auto supply company financial support, said sources.

None of the identities of potential Takata investors are known, and it's not clear which ones are actually serious about investing in the auto parts supplier. When asked for a comment by Automotive News, Takata and the bank responsible for searching for a financial sponsor, Lazard, declined to answer.

Due to the massive airbag inflator recall worldwide, Takata is in search of financial support to help pay for the costs that it has incurred since news broke that its faulty airbag inflators can explode forcefully and spray metal shards into the passenger cabin. There have been 13 deaths and over 100 injuries linked to the faulty airbag inflators worldwide, but the majority of the incidents have been in the U.S.

As part of its restructuring efforts, Takata will sell off its non-core businesses and review its airbag inflator division. Honda, one of Takata's biggest client, has revealed earlier that it would no longer use Takata airbag inflators. Citing Valient Market Research, Automotive News points out that Takata's overall share of the airbag inflator market worldwide will drop from 22 percent in 2015 to just 5 percent by 2020; however, the supplier's seat belt and steering wheel manufacturing division, could remain profitable. Sources familiar with the talks between Takata, automakers, and potential investors told Automotive News that an agreement could be reached by November and Shigehisa Takada, Takata's CEO, also volunteered to resign once a financial rescue plan has been formulated.

Over 100 million airbag inflators are expected to be recalled by the end of 2019 while new recalls are being announced almost every week. Automakers have paid for the recall costs of the faulty Takata airbags, given the root cause of the airbag inflator's fault has yet to be completely detailed.

Note: The airbag depicted above is from a 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and is not representative of a Takata airbag.

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