LONDON - TI Group's plan to buy US fuel tank maker Walbro Corp. for $570 million will create a global giant that can provide a complete fuel system - from the gas nozzle to the engine.
Walbro, based in Michigan, is one of the world's largest producers of plastic fuel tanks. TI Group, based in Abingdon, England, owns Bundy, which has 25 percent of the world fuel and vapor line market.
The new operation - to be called TI Automotive Systems -is 'totally complementary' to TI's existing Bundy fuel delivery business, said Bill Laule, TI chief executive.
Walbro employs 5,000 people in 15 countries. It reported global sales of $497 million last year. Bundy recorded sales of about $1.3 billion.
'Automakers are replacing metal fuel tanks with composite tanks - and Walbro has a world-leading position in this area,' said a TI spokesman. 'Manufacturers also want integrated fuel storage and delivery systems comprising fuel tanks, pumps, level sensors and vapor management equipment.'
Walbro Chief Executive Frank Bauchiero will head TI Automotive Systems for at least three years. He will report to Laule.