Collins & Aikman reorganizes
Collins & Aikman Corp. of Charlotte, N.C., is reorganizing into three divisions. The company will divide its automotive carpet, acoustics, plastics and accessory mats business between the new North America Automotive Interior Systems Division in Troy, Mich., and the new Europe Automotive Interior Systems Division in the Frankfurt, Germany, area. A third unit, Dura Convertible Systems and Automotive Interior Systems, will remain in Adrian, Mich., and will become the Specialty Automotive Products Division. The company put the one-time pre-tax cost of the plan at between $14 million and $18 million, including a restructuring charge of about $4 million to $6 million to be recognized in the first quarter of 1999.
ACQUISITION - American Axle & Manufacturing Inc. has agreed to pay up to $170 million to buy closely held auto parts maker Colfor Manufacturing Inc. Detroit-based American Axle makes drive systems for light trucks. The acquisition will give it new products and customers. Colfor, of Malvern, Ohio, makes forged metal components for Borg-Warner Automotive Inc., Dana Corp. and Ford Motor Co.
ACQUISITION - Ventra Group Inc. has completed its purchase of the assets of JPE Canada Inc. from its creditors for $9.8 million. Ventra Group, of Oakville, Ontario, acquired from JPE Inc. of Ann Arbor, Mich., two exterior trim manufacturing plants, in Kitchener and Peterborough, Ontario. They have combined sales of more than $70 million. Ventra is a publicly traded company that manufactures assemblies and plastic exterior and interior trim systems. The company, which employs more than 4,500 people and has 26 manufacturing plants around the world, had sales last year of $322.3 million.
ALLIANCE - Analytical Process Systems Inc., an Auburn Hills, Mich., supplier of emissions and fluid-conditioning equipment, and Giffels Technologies Inc., a Southfield, Mich., construction manager of research centers, have formed an alliance to design and build test labs for the automotive and aerospace markets.
ACQUISITION - TRW Inc. of Cleveland said it will proceed with its planned $6.53 billion purchase of LucasVarity PLC of London now that U.S. government antitrust officials have decided not to challenge the deal. TRW said the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission let pass a 15-day period in which they could begin a challenge by requesting more information.
ACQUISITION - Borg-Warner Automotive Inc. said it won clearance from German antitrust authorities for its pending acquisition of Kuhlman Corp., a Savannah, Ga.-based firm that makes turbochargers and other industrial products. Bloomberg News Service reported that Borg-Warner needed the approval of the German government because the company also owns a turbocharger business in Germany acquired from AG Kuhnle, Kopp & Kausch last fall. Chicago-based Borg-Warner said it now has won all necessary regulatory clearances for the merger, which is set for a Kuhlman shareholder vote on March 1.
PRODUCTION - Rouge Industries Inc. has resumed limited steel finishing operations in Dearborn, Mich., after the Feb. 1 explosion and fire at the Ford Motor Co. Rouge Complex powerhouse. Rouge is shipping steel to its customers and is turning its attention to the resumption of steel making. Rouge Steel's operations were interrupted after the blast cut the supply of electricity and other utilities to company plants, including its furnaces.
HONORS - Leggette, Brashears & Graham Inc. of St. Paul, Minn., has received DaimlerChrysler Corp.'s CHEER (Continuously Honors Environmental Excellence with Recognition) award. The supplier was honored for its leadership and innovative cleanup of chlorinated solvents on a one-acre site in Hartland, Wis. The site, near the Bark River, harbored contaminated waste left by a former Chrysler waste removal supplier. Leggette, Brashears & Graham used steam injection technology to remove more than 6,700 pounds of solvents from the site, which now is home to a bank and office building.
HONORS - General Motors Service Parts Operation of Grand Blanc, Mich., has presented two awards. GM Service Parts Operation's ACDelco unit presented U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., with the Pinnacle Award for Lifetime Achievement during the seventh annual Trumpet Awards, held in Atlanta last month. The Trumpet Awards salute achievements in the African-American community. For decades, Lewis has been an outspoken advocate of civil rights. He was one of the keynote speakers at the historic March on Washington in 1963. Also at the Trumpet Awards, GM Service Parts Operation's Good-wrench Service Plus unit gave a new Community Spirit Award to Childkind of Atlanta. Childkind aids underprivileged youth.
QS-9000: Fasnap Corp., Elkhart, Ind.; ND Industries Inc., Clawson, Mich.
QS-9000/Tooling & Equipment Supplement: Gill Tool & Die Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich.
ISO-9001: Gill Tool & Die Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich.; Merritech Division of Merrill Tool Holding Co., Saginaw, Mich.; Forward Industries Inc., Dearborn, Mich.; Renosol Corp., Bay City, Mich.
ISO-9002: Detroit Testing Laboratory Inc., Warren, Mich.; Pasha Group, Richmond, Calif., automotive services operation; Merrill Tool Holding Co.: Merrill Tool & Machine Division of Merrill, Mich., and Merrill Fabricators of Saginaw, Mich.