Dana Corporation may have a buyer for its aftermarket business, reports aftermarket newsletter Automotive Week.
According to the report, the lead bidder is the Cypress Group of New York, which is believed to be offering in excess of $1 billion U.S. for the business.
Cypress gained a lot of attention for its stake in the Cinemark movie theater chain, which it sold earlier this year when Cinemark was merged with another buyout group, Madison Dearborn Partners. Coming in a close second, according to Reuters, is the Carlyle Group of Washington, DC. Carlyle acquired the Wells Manufacturing, Champion Labs, Pioneer Inc., Airtex Products and Neapco subsidiaries from UIS Inc. last year and later renamed them United Components Inc.
If Carlyle were to have the winning bid for the Dana business, it would have control over some substantial aftermarket businesses. And, it would further its presence in the automotive industry at large, seeing that the firm has acquired Breed Technologies (a safety products specialist) and the German sunroof maker Edscha.
Carlyle was involved in negotiations to purchase the automotive business of TRW prior to the Blackstone private equity group closing the deal on its own.
Other rumoured suitors named by Automotive Week include Bain Capital, Blackstone, Heartland Industrial Partners and the Texas Pacific Group (TPG).
Heartland in 2000 acquired a controlling equity stake in Metaldyne, formerly MascoTech Inc. and Simpson Industries. Two of Heartland’s other current investments are TriMas Corp. (a manufacturer of such items as tools, trailers and roof racks) and Collins & Aikman (an automotive interior components company). Meanwhile, Boston-based Bain became the new owner of Keystone Automotive Operations (Exeter, PA) last year through a leveraged buyout rumoured to be worth around $440 million. Among TPG’s major investments are Burger King, J.Crew, Ducati and Continental Airlines.
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