DETROIT -- ASC Inc., the company that builds the SSR sport truck for Chevrolet and convertible and sunroof systems for a variety of automakers, is back on the sales block.
Crain's Detroit Business, a sister publication of Automotive News, said four sources in the financial community confirmed that ASC's owner, Questor Management Co. LLC, wants to sell the company.
Founded by the late Heinz Prechter, ASC was purchased by Questor in 2002.
Since then it has changed its name from American Sunroof Corp. to American Specialty Cars and changed its mission.
The company wants to establish itself as a builder of small runs of niche vehicles such as the SSR.
Questor, of Southfield, Mich., has been working with CIBC World Markets to shop ASC, several sources in the investment banking community told Crain's Detroit Business.
Questor wouldn't comment, citing a policy of not discussing its plans, said Lisa Williams, director of communications.
ASC deferred questions to Questor.
But in an interview last month with Automotive News, ASC spokesman Tim Yost acknowledged that Questor could put the company up for sale at any time.
"That's generally their business model," he said. "They are a restructuring-oriented company, so that's no secret. When they might sell it is anybody's guess. My guess is the company, like any of their companies, is on the block from day one onward."
Two weeks ago, ASC CEO Paul Wilbur said the company plans to buy a plant in North America. Yost said ASC has been negotiating with several domestic and import brands and expects to get contracts for several niche vehicles.
ASC reported $493 million in 2004 North American revenue. Questor is interested in recouping its investment but won't undersell ASC just to unload it, the financial sources said.
"If they can't get a reasonable price, they won't sell it," said one source familiar with the matter.
The sources said it's a tough time to sell with so many other automotive assets on the market.
But Questor is raising a third investment fund and may want proceeds for that, three of the sources said.
Richard Truett contributed to this report