Wheel maker seeks buyout
DETROIT - Hayes Lemmerz International Inc., the world's largest automotive wheel maker, reported receiving a buyout offer from New York buyout firm Joseph Littlejohn & Levy for the remaining common shares the firm does not own.
Joseph Littlejohn, which proposed a $21 per share offer, made the proposal on behalf of stockholders owning in excess of 75 percent of the shares. Hayes Lemmerz, of Northville, Mich., plans to form a special committee of its independent directors to review the proposal.
DELPHI finishes buying lucas
FLINT, Mich. - Delphi Automotive Systems Corp. of Troy, Mich., reported that it has completed the $871 million acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Lucas Diesel Systems from TRW Inc. of Cleveland.
The new Delphi entity, renamed Delphi Diesel Systems, will operate through the Delphi Energy & Chassis Systems division in Flint, Mich. Dominique Chauvin, previously managing director of Lucas Diesel Systems, has been named managing director of Delphi Diesel Systems. He will report to Guy Hachey, president of Delphi Energy.
PARTS RETAILERS PLAN E-SITE
PHOENIX - CSK Auto Inc., a Phoenix-based automotive parts retailer with 1,600 stores, and Advance Auto Parts Inc. of Roanoke, Va., plan to form an e-commerce site with Sequoia Capital, a major venture capital company.
PartsAmerica.com plans to serve the consumer and commercial sectors in the $90 billion automotive parts and accessories market. CSK and Advance Auto Parts combined operate 2,700 stores in 50 states. Sequoia Capital is in Menlo Park, Calif.
CASTINGS SUPPLIER DIVERSIFIES
SCHAFFHAUSEN, Switzerland - Georg Fischer AG, a European supplier of automotive castings to DaimlerChrysler AG and Volkswagen AG, said stagnant demand in its primary business prompted its plan to invest in an Israeli pipe systems maker.
Georg Fischer, which last year bought two German and two Italian pipe systems companies, plans to invest $25 million for a 20 percent stake in Plasson Ltd., a supplier of plastic water and gas piping systems used in agriculture.
ASC INCREASES STAKE
DETROIT - ASC Holdings Inc., an affiliate of sunroof maker ASC Inc. of Southgate, Mich., has acquired shares of ASC Exterior Technologies from Kojaian Holdings LLC. ASC Holdings and Kojaian Holdings in May 1999 acquired controlling interest in JPE Inc., which began doing business as ASC Exterior Technologies. The exterior business unit is a Tier 1 supplier of automotive exterior trim packages and aftermarket heavy-truck parts. Kojaian Holdings, a diversified investment company, has headquarters in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
SOLVAY CREATES GERMAN UNIT
DETROIT - Solvay Automotive of Troy, Mich., a supplier of automotive fuel and emissions component systems, has created a wholly owned subsidiary in Heidelberg, Germany.
The Solvay Automotive Fuel System Deutschland GmbH subsidiary is part of Solvay's effort to move closer to its customers. The move follows Solvay expansions in South America, Central Europe and Asia. Solvay Automotive is part of the Solvay Group, an international chemical and pharmaceutical group in Brussels, Belgium.
OFFICIALS SEEK TARIFF CUTS
MANILA - The Philippines is considering a plan to speed up planned tariff cuts on auto parts imported from neighboring countries.
A committee advising the Cabinet has proposed tariffs on auto parts used on vehicles assembled in the Philippines of 7 percent for passenger car parts and 3 percent for commercial vehicle parts. Tariffs on both are now 10 percent.
Edscha, ASC form roof tie-up
REMSCHEID, Germany - Edscha Cabrio-Verdecksysteme GmbH and ASC Inc. will develop and produce the complete roof system for the next-generation BMW Z3 roadster. The $267 million contract covers more than 300,000 vehicles for the duration of the project. Edscha and ASC will form a 50-50 joint-venture company to develop and deliver the roof systems. Development work will take place mainly in Germany, and production will be in a new facility near BMW's plant in Spartanburg County, S.C.
Teves to open plant in Mexico
DETROIT - Brake and chassis supplier Continental Teves Inc. plans a $15 million wheel speed sensor plant in Silao, Mexico. Continental Teves, of Auburn Hills, Mich., expects to begin production during the first quarter of 2001. Wheel speed sensors measure vehicle movement. They are a key part of the company's plan to supply electronic chassis control systems. The company is a U.S. unit of Continental AG of Hannover, Germany.
IWKA continues U.S. expansion
DETROIT - Key Welder Corp., which supplies automation equipment to the auto industry, has sold a controlling interest to IWKA AG of Karlsruhe, Germany, for an undisclosed sum. Key Welder, of Roseville, Mich., expects 1999 revenues of $60 million. It is the fourth recent acquisition by IWKA's U.S. Production Automation Division. The division has annual revenues of about $190 million.