Ventra Group Inc. plans to expand its automotive injection molding and painting capacity by acquiring assets of JPE Canada Inc. from JPE Canada's creditors.
Ventra of Cambridge, Ontario, announced Dec. 22 it will pay about C$15 million (US$9.8 million) for JPE Canada's plants in Peterborough and Kitchener, Ontario. It agreed to fund the purchase through a term loan with JPE Canada's bankers, the largest creditor of which is Bank of Nova Scotia, said Ventra Chief Financial Officer Dwight Rollins.
Rollins said the deal, contingent on court approval, should close by about Jan. 29. Ventra will keep the Peterborough and Kitchener facilities open.
JPE Canada, a unit of JPE Inc. of Ann Arbor, Mich., makes exterior trim, bumper fascias, rocker panels and body side moldings for General Motors Corp. Its annual sales are about C$70 million (US$45.7 million). Peterborough's 185,000-square-foot plant includes a painting operation. At Kitchener, it has 99,000 square feet of space.
Rollins said Ventra has not negotiated for JPE Inc.'s U.S. businesses. An offer by Chinese firm DGI Investments Inc. for the U.S. operations fell through last fall.
JPE Inc. Chief Operating Officer James Farhner said his firm continues to look for a buyer for its Plastic Trim Inc. and Starboard Industries Inc. subsidiaries, both of which are under Chapter 11 protection. JPE's deadline for a plan of arrangement for the firms expires Jan. 13. JPE will seek a court extension, Farhner said in a telephone interview.
He would not comment on whether JPE currently is negotiating the sale of those units.