IAC, a joint venture company recently formed by WL Ross & Co, Franklin Mutual Advisers and Lear Corporation, is to acquire 14 core European businesses of troubled auto supplier Collins & Aikman Europe (C&A) for over $100 million.
The European operations are in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
Several sites not included in the sale are in the UK and Italy. In the UK, the company is still considering options for its St. Neots and Stourport sites, while its Redditch, Walkden and Carlisle operations are winding down. In Italy, the four C&A sites are subject to a separate sales process.
The transaction is subject to certain conditions including approval by monopoly commissions, but is expected to close early in 2006.
Last year the European businesses of Collins & Aikman had a $1bn turnover and operated in 24 sites in 10 countries. It was placed into Administration as a result of a very competitive automotive market. Since Collins & Aikman’s Administration filings, a competitor, Delphi, has also been placed in bankruptcy protection in the US, demonstrating the pressures faced by companies in the sector.