DETROIT -- Dura Automotive Systems Inc., which generates nearly 60 percent of its sales from Europe, is to become part of a large diversified metal-bending company following its acquisition by New York private-equity firm Patriarch Partners.
As first reported by Automotive News Europe sister publication Automotive News on Thursday, Patriarch Partners has agreed to spend up to $125 million to take a controlling interest in Dura.
In a statement released Friday, Patriarch CEO Lynn Tilton said the investment in Dura would create “a robust global supplier with the depth and breadth that will offer rich benefits to Dura's customers and other stakeholders.”
Dura is expected to absorb Global Automotive Systems of suburban Detroit, another Patriarch company, in the deal.
Dura CEO Timothy Leuliette, who is expected to stay on, said the investment will make Dura one of the “least-leveraged suppliers in the auto industry” and give the company greater access to capital.
The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.
The combined sales of Dura and Global Automotive Systems will total nearly $2 billion, Leuliette said.
Dura had worldwide parts sales to automakers of $1.75 billion in its 2008 fiscal year. Of that total, 58 percent came from Europe. Dura ranks No. 90 on the Automotive News Europe list of the top 100 global suppliers.
In June 2008, Dura emerged from nearly two years in Chapter 11. While in bankruptcy, the maker of shifter and cable systems, structural and safety systems, glass and exterior trim slashed its debt by $1.1 billion.
After emerging from bankruptcy, though, Dura was hit by sharply lower production volumes worldwide and the bankruptcy filings by General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group.
Dura is owned by a number of debt and equity holders, including Pacificor, which is the majority holder of debt, common and preferred shares.
Global Automotive Systems
Tilton's Patriarch Partners owns 73 companies in fields that include auto parts but range as far afield as a helicopter company once owned by Howard Hughes. The list includes U.S. manufacturing, transportation, entertainment, textile and other companies.
The portfolio consists primarily of distressed middle-market firms that she acquires and rebuilds.
Global Automotive Systems comprises these companies:
• Global Suspension Systems;
• Metal Systems of Canada;
• Lexington Metal Systems;
• Milan Metal Systems;
• Metal Systems de Monterrey;
• Tubular Metal Systems; and
• Global Rollforming Systems.