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Universal buys TRW brake brand names

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Universal Automotive Industries Inc. has acquired the Autospecialty, ValuMaxx and Power Stop brake brand names from TRW Automotive Inc. subsidiary Kelsey-Hayes Co.

Universal paid $11 million in cash for the brands plus agreed to additional contingent payments.

Universal also has signed a licensing agreement that will let it use the TRW trademark for premium-level brake rotors and drums.

In addition, the Alsip, Ill.-based company has signed a supply agreement for TRW suspension products.

Universal's purchase of the brands "marks a decisive turning point in the growth and development of our company," says Arvin Scott, Universal's CEO and president.

Scott says the acquisition will boost Universal's annual sales from $58 million in 2003 to more than $100 million.

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