Crain News Service
DETROIT - Peregrine Inc. has emerged as a much different company from the $1.2 billion business acquired by turnaround specialist Jay Alix last May 15.
It lost $60 million in 1997 and was on a pace to lose more in 1998 as it competed unsuccessfully in the seat and door-trim businesses with bigger rivals such as Lear Corp. and Johnson Controls Inc.
'They had a lot of problems,' said Craig Fitzgerald, head of the automotive supplier services group of Plante & Moran L.L.P. in Southfield, Mich. 'Their Flint plant did not have a good product line, while Livonia was overcapitalized and underperforming.'
Peregrine soon will leave the seat and door-trim businesses, and sales are expected to shrink to about $420 million in 1999. The company is focusing instead on parts such as brake-pedal modules, window regulators and hinges.
Other products include airbag canisters and instrument panels.
'We're almost all of the way there,' Peregrine CEO James Bonsall told Crain's Detroit Business, a sister publication to Automotive News.
'We should make a profit this year. I can't say how much, but it will be a fair return on sales.'