After a recession-time bankruptcy filing, TI Automotive, the worlds largest supplier of fuel storage and delivery systems re-emerged with a slimmer operations and cost structure that now is drawing reports of either an initial public offering or outright sale.
In an 18-month restructuring under British law, the company cut 55% of its salaried workers, while it also reworked over 90% of its debt in a debt-for equity swap that put ownership of the Auburn Hills, MI.- based company in the hands of a consortium of hedge funds, including Oaktree Capital Management and Duquesne Capital Management.The company, which also makes brake parts and powertrain components was reported by Reuters to be considering a $1.25 billion share sale, led by Deutsche Bank (DB) and Lazard (Laz). However in September, Reuters reported that the company was looking to sell itself to a private equity titan like the Carlyle Group or Bain Capital, among a host of prospective buyers. While reports indicated a final sale would be reached by October, no announcement materialized after private equity firms were unable to secure the financing to make a bid. According to Reuters, the company estimated annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of roughly $250 million and its enterprise value is seen in the range of $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion. To be seen is whether an industry wide boom for auto manufacturers and their parts suppliers either boosts the value of TI Automotive or leads the company back in the direction of a share salem, after a second half market slump. With other once bankrupt parts suppliers like Delphi Automotive, Lear and manufacturers like GM posting strong earnings, TI Automotive may be a similar type of investment. Concerns include the company's exposure to European markets like Britain and the cyclical nature of the auto industry. TI Automotive has roughly 16,500 employees in 28 countries according to its Web site. It's history traces back to 1919 in Birmingham, England - thought its global headquarters are a Detroit suburb.
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