TI Auto said to delay Bain deal vote on rival bid

NEW YORK (Bloomberg) -- TI Automotive, the auto fuel-systems maker owned by several hedge funds, delayed a vote on a $2 billion sale to Bain Capital Partners LLC as shareholders review a rival bid from Pamplona Capital Management LLP, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Pamplona's offer is $11.53 a share, or about $115 million more than Bain's, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are private.

Closely held TI Automotive, which does the majority of its business in Europe, postponed a vote on Bain's offer scheduled for Jan. 20 so management can weigh Pamplona's bid, the people said.

The delay is the latest twist in months of sale talks between TI and Bain, the Boston-based private-equity firm that had walked away from talks in November only to resume discussions last month. The two sides were close to a deal until Pamplona came in with another bid, the people said.

Spokesmen for TI and Bain declined to comment.

A representative for Pamplona didn't respond to a message seeking comment left outside regular business hours.

TI, which once supplied fuel lines to Ford Motor Co.'s Model T, traces its roots to 1919. The company, chartered in Britain and headquartered near Detroit, generated about 40 percent of sales from Europe in 2012.

The company has about $400 million in annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, people familiar with the situation have said.

Pamplona is a London-based private equity firm that manages more than $6 billion in assets, according to its Web site. Bain manages about $70 billion in assets, according to its Web site. Its investments include Texas-based specialty retailer Michaels Stores Inc. and German parts supplier FTE Automotive GmbH.

TI Automotive ranks No. 63 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide sales to automakers of $3 billion in 2012.

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