Now that TI Automotive has a new owner — private equity firm Bain Capital — CEO Bill Kozyra says he has the money and shareholder support to make acquisitions.
The suburban Detroit maker of blow molded fuel tanks and fluid-handling systems will consider bolt-on acquisitions of companies costing as much as a few hundred million dollars, Kozyra said in early July.
"As the industry continues to consolidate, we are in a better position with a strong partner to capitalize," Kozyra said.
"There are always opportunities, and we stand ready for those opportunities."
Kozyra outlined his company's growth plans after Bain completed its acquisition of TI Automotive on June 30 for an undisclosed sum.
That deal, first announced in January, allowed TI Automotive's former creditors to sell the stakes they had acquired in 2009 when TI went through bankruptcy court and swapped debt for equity.
"We had a large number of shareholders who never intended to be shareholders," Kozyra said, "so we had a lot of diverse views about what was the proper direction for the company."
Since 2009, TI Automotive has generated enough cash flow to build plants in places such as Mexico. But it didn't have money to make significant acquisitions — until now.
While Bain has deep pockets, Kozyra says there is no urgent need to make acquisitions. He's happy with the company's product lines, which include tubing and lines to carry many types of fluid.
Likewise, TI Automotive already sells to 12 global automakers and has operations in 29 countries. Last year, the company's worldwide automotive sales totaled an estimated $3.30 billion.
It had an estimated $220 million in blow molding sales in North America in 2013, placing it at No. 19 in Plastics News' annual raking.
But Kozyra expects some smaller, regional competitors will seek buyers as automakers continue to introduce global platforms. And if that happens, he'll be ready.
Kozyra said, "Now we have a partner that supports our growth."