A group of investors bent on creating a new player in the world of interior trim components has acquired two Lear Corp. plants.
BBi Enterprises Group LP obtained the two Holland, Mich., plants from Lear as part of a plan to become a major supplier of automotive insulation and acoustical liners. The deal closed Jan. 31 but was disclosed only last week after BBi refinanced the sale.
Lear produced interior trim products including package trays and drawers at the Holland site along with noise dampeners and other acoustics systems.
``The Lear acquisition keeps BBi's consolidation on course,'' said Steven Brown, chief executive officer of Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based BBi.
BBi's strategy is to buy low-price, distressed companies and add manufacturing and engineering expertise to build a stronger competitor. ``The down market is the perfect time for strengthening and increasing product offerings,'' Brown said.
Brown declined to disclose the sale price or terms for the Lear plants, but they are expected to generate annual sales in excess of $20 million. They produce interior trim, insulators, floors and sound dampening parts.
Brown said combined sales of BBi and Jet Composites Inc., a company acquired in Janaury 2001, are expected to reach $110 million in sales this year. The combined company employs more 750 and operates six plants in Ontario, Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.
His competitors include Collins & Aikman, Rieter Automotive North America Inc. and H.P. Pelzer Co., the company that once employed him as president. Guy Boitos, BBi's chief operating officer, is a former vice president of sales and engineering at Pelzer.