Crain News Service
CHICAGO - There is no glamour in car doors, but Chicago industrialist Thomas Begel keeps seeking ways to make money in the Rust Belt.
Since 1995, his privately held TMB Industries has acquired 11 companies in partnership with Chicago's Pritzker family and the equity arm of Chase Manhattan Corp.
His three companies - one in die casting and two in stampings - generate combined annual revenues of $500 million.
The largest of the three is Global Metal Technologies Inc., which includes five aluminum die casters generating $240 million in sales. The latest purchase, of a family-owned die caster in Jackson, Mich., came with the help of an unlikely partner: General Motors.
The company was slipping into financial trouble, but GM, which accounted for 90 percent of its sales, wanted to see it survive.
'Global had acquired other die casters and has a record of turning companies around,' says Curt Harrison, director of purchasing for GM's Powertrain Division. GM funded some subordinated debt and guaranteed some additional orders, Begel says, 'which gives you a warm feeling about buying the business.'
Begel is also CEO of Johnstown America Industries Inc., a rail car and truck components maker.