Interior trim supplier Collins & Aikman Corp. is moving closer to its goal of gaining a big European presence as it winds up talks to acquire a German supplier of sound-control materials.
HP-Chemie Pelzer of Witten, Germany, would give C&A 31 manufacturing plants spanning Europe, Asia and North and South America and additional access to DaimlerChrysler AG. As with any buyout talks, deals can come undone.
David Greeneisen, chief executive officer of Pelzer's North American operations, HP Pelzer Automotive in Troy, Mich., said a deal could be announced this month.
Pelzer, founded in 1969 by Helmut Pelzer, is a supplier of interior and trunk trim, and engine and interior insulation. The privately held company posted sales last year of $520 million, about $90 million of that in North America.
For Troy-based Collins & Aikman, North America accounted for about $1.53 billion of its original equipment sales of $1.82 billion last year. It was ranked No. 1 on Plastics News' list of top North American injection molders.
In the sound-control materials, Collins & Aikman is No. 1 in North America, with a 15 percent share of the segment, according to Automotive News, a sister publication to Plastics News. But it is No. 4 in Europe with a 9 percent share, according to a C&A report.
Collins & Aikman has been consolidating interior component suppliers in an effort to become a giant Tier 2 supplier of systems to Tier 1 integrators.
Heartland Industrial Partners, a Greenwich, Conn., private equity firm, fueled the rapid growth by acquiring Collins & Aikman. Heartland, co-founded by David Stockman, the former Reagan administration budget chief, owns most of Collins & Aikman.
In December, Collins & Aikman bought Textron Automotive Co.'s car-trim business for $1.28 billion. Earlier, it acquired the automotive fabrics business of Joan Fabrics and Becker Group.