DETROIT - Plastech Engineered Products Inc.'s estimated $290 million buyout of LDM Technologies Inc. puts Julie Nguyen Brown in a position she hates.
Brown is the founder and CEO of Plastech, of Dearborn, Mich. Her company's acquisition of LDM in Auburn Hills, Mich., in February makes Plastech one of the largest minority-owned auto suppliers in North America.
Plastech is projecting sales of $1.5 billion this year.
But don't expect Brown, who is a Vietnamese immigrant, to brag about the accomplishment. She rarely talks to the press.
Though colleagues describe her as strong-willed and persistent, Brown is the first to admit that she's more comfortable behind the scenes. Or running 50 miles a week - her way of disciplining herself.
"If you're too visible, it means you just do things for the wrong reason, in my estimation," she said in an interview with Automotive News. "You're selling yourself to the public, and that's not right. I'm not selling myself. I'm selling a project."
Plastech specializes in interior plastic products such as seat back panels. LDM added exterior plastic products, including fascias, to the portfolio. The combined company is one of the largest injection molders in North America. Its biggest customer is Ford Motor Co.
Plastech had $680 million in sales last year. LDM had about $425 million. The combined company has 5,900 employees. Based on those combined sales, Plastech would have ranked No. 42 on Automotive News' list of the top 150 original equipment suppliers to North America in 2003.