NEW YORK -- Morgenthaler Partners, a $2 billion private equity firm, on Monday said it had agreed to buy MPI International, a precision auto parts manufacturer, from Germany's Klockner Werke AG through a management buyout.
MPI, based in Rochester Hills, Mich., manufactures assemblies for major automakers through six sites mostly in the Midwest. It generated $135 million in 2002 revenue, employs 950 people and is profitable, according to Morgenthaler general partner John Lutsi.
Other details, including the size of the deal, were undisclosed.
MPI's managers will continue to run the company after the transaction and will hold a minority stake in MPI, as is typical in a management buyout. Lutsi declined to specify the stake, but said his firm typically backs deals where existing management holds 15 percent to 20 percent of the post-transaction company.
Lutsi, who will hold one of two Morgenthaler seats on MPI's board, said the buyout firm plans to "roll up" MPI with another auto parts manufacturer that Morgenthaler plans to buy this month. He would not disclose the name of the pending purchase.
"The plan is to put them together so they can start working together," Lutsi said in an interview.
Morgenthaler, which said it has raised $2 billion since its inception for buyouts, is one of several firms scouring the U.S. auto parts sector for opportunities. Others hunting in the sector, where many companies are in distress, include Heartland Industrial Partners and Questor Management Co.
Lutsi said Comerica and Norwest Capital, a unit of Wells Fargo & Co., financed the MPI buyout.