NOVI, MICH. (Sept. 1, 3 p.m. ET) — Cooper-Standard Holdings Inc. is seeking potential deals to sell or merge the company, the automotive supplier confirmed in a statement today.
Cooper-Standard's “board of directors has retained investment bankers to assist the company in evaluating various strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value, including, but not limited to, a sale or merger of the company or an initial public offering of its common shares,” the company said in the short statement.
New York-based JP Morgan Chase Co. and Lazard Ltd. are reportedly advising the Novi-based supplier of body sealing and fluid handling systems on potential deals.
Cooper-Standard exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May 2010 in the hands of several hedge funds, including Silver Point Capital and Oak Hills Advisors, after cutting $650 million in debt.
William Wildern, CEO of Farmington Hills, Mich.-based Hydra Professionals LLC, said the announcement likely indicates that an investor wants to cash out.
“Investors are likely concerned about how they can get their cash back in this environment,” Wildern said. “This is probably Cooper-Standard throwing out a test line to see if anyone bites.”
Reuters reported that Cooper-Standard has received interest from private equity firms looking to enter the market.
The supplier generated net profit of $64 million during the first six months of 2011 on sales of $1.45 billion.
Cooper-Standard has also made several business moves this year, including the acquisition of Rockford, Tenn.-based USi Inc. and the formation of a joint venture with Rennes, France-based Société des Ploymères Barre-Thomas.