DETROIT - Six months after Metaldyne Corp. was forged from three companies, CEO Tim Leuliette said the company wants to buy more.
Leuliette said he expects to have a deal wrapped up by year end and more deals completed within 18 months.
Poor sales figures for suppliers combined with cheap financing make it a good time to buy, he said.
Leuliette slid into the role of CEO after he and other board members of Heartland Industrial Partners L.P., which arranged the startup capital for Metaldyne, interviewed three candidates and decided it would be better if Leuliette headed the company. Leuliette is the former CEO of ITT Automotive Corp. and former president and COO of Penske Corp.
Metaldyne was formed in January when the partners bought Global Metal Technologies Inc. and joined it with MascoTech Inc. and Simpson Industries Inc. The idea, Leuliette said, was to follow the example of interior suppliers such as Lear Corp. and Johnson Controls Inc. and offer complete modules. But Metaldyne does that for transmissions.
Metaldyne reported revenue of $1.6 billion last year with net income of $310 million. Figuring in the Global Metal acquisition, the company's revenue last year would have been close to $1.8 billion.
The business has two divisions: Metal Forming Group and Diversified Industrial Group. Metal Forming provides the bulk of the company's expected 2001 revenue with $1.8 billion, while Diversified produces $575 million. Leuliette said the Diversified group will become a separate business.
The Diversified segment makes towing components, nonautomotive gaskets and fasteners, precision cutting tools, oil field engine replacement parts, vapor-barrier facings and jackets, and containers.
First Union Securities Inc. analyst Jeff Stewart said Metaldyne's diversification makes it appealing. He points to first-quarter results that were better than fourth-quarter results despite the lower production levels.