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Pawley buys big stake in paint systems maker

DETROIT - Former Chrysler Corp. executive vice president Dennis Pawley is in the paint systems business.

Pawley and Palladium Equity Partners, a New York private equity group, bought a 75 percent stake in Haden International Group Inc., a paint-finishing systems company in Auburn Hills, Mich. The price was $40 million.

Pawley characterized his personal stake as a 'substantial investment.' He said Haden presents an excellent opportunity because among automakers there is a pent-up demand to add or upgrade environmentally friendly plant painting systems. Pawley said he plans to join Haden's board but will not be part of its day-to-day operations.

Palladium is the former owner of Guide Corp., which had been Delphi Lighting before it was spun off from General Motors in 1998. Pawley headed Guide for Palladium until he resigned last December in a dispute with GM. Haden posted sales of $300 million last year.

Earlier this year, Haden was awarded a major project by DaimlerChrysler to build a painting system in its Toluca, Mexico, plant, which manufacturers the PT Cruiser.

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