BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - EU regulators on Monday cleared a group affiliated with billionaire investor Carl Icahn to take over auto parts supplier Lear Corp. for $2.8 billion.
The European Commission approved the deal automatically after identifying no antitrust problems and receiving no complaints from rivals within a deadline of 25 working days.
Under terms of the takeover on Feb. 9, Icahn's American Real Estate Partners LP is paying $36 a share and assuming about $2.5 billion in debt.
Icahn already was Lear's largest shareholder, owning about 16 percent of the company.
Lear had sales of $17.8 billion in 2006 and reported a wider fourth-quarter loss after taking charges to sell its interiors unit. The company has seen its profit and sales shrink recently after North American automakers sharply cut production, but it beat Wall Street estimates during the last quarter.
Lear put its money-losing interiors unit into a joint venture controlled by billionaire Wilbur Ross.
Icahn's interest in the troubled auto parts sector goes beyond Lear. He is a major bondholder in Federal-Mogul Corp., which is expected to emerge from bankruptcy protection this spring, and last year he acquired about $101 million in debt in Toledo, Ohio-based Dana Corp., which also is in bankruptcy.