DETROIT - Metaldyne Corp. plans to spin off its TriMas Group this year and acquire two companies with total sales of about $1 billion.
Metaldyne wouldn't identify the companies, but one is a division of an automaker and the other is independent, said Kurt Ruecke, director of corporate communications. Each has sales of about $500 million annually.
The supplier, based in Plymouth Township, Mich., inherited TriMas from MascoTech Corp.
TriMas makes towing hitches, fasteners, gaskets and packaging for retail and marine customers.
That doesn't fit Metaldyne's main business of forged metal components and die castings for automotive customers, Ruecke said.
"If you look at the customer base and the market requirements, they are quite different," he said.
Metaldyne was formed in November 2000 when private equity fund Heartland Industrial Partners of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., combined MascoTech, Simpson Industries Inc. and Global Metal Technologies Inc.
The company ranked No. 35 on Automotive News' list of top 150 suppliers to North America with sales of $1.21 billion in original equipment in 2001.
The acquisitions and spinoff are part of a growth strategy while strengthening the balance sheet. Metaldyne reported long-term debt of about $1.1 billion and total contractual obligations of $1.7 billion in its annual report.
TriMas will be based in Bloomfield Hills. It posted 2001 revenue of about $740 million.
Metaldyne said in March that it will close TriMas' Draw-Tite plant in Canton Township, Mich., and consolidate the operation in Indiana. The move affected 300 employees. Ruecke said that move had nothing to do with the proposed spinoff.