DETROIT -- Billionaire financier Wilbur Ross has completed a deal to acquire the European unit of financially troubled auto parts supplier Collins & Aikman Corp.
The deal does not involve Lear Corp. Plans had called for Collins & Aikman operations to be combined with Lear's interior trim division after a spinoff from the parent company.
Ross' company, International Automotive Components, acquired Collins & AIkman's business in the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. IAC said Thursday that it expects to close on additional business in the United Kingdom, Czech Republic and Slovakia.
IAC did not disclose the price of the acquisition, but Automotive News previously reported that Ross agreed in November to pay about $100 million. Collins & Aikman's European operations have annual sales of about $600 million. The unit supplies interior parts components to nearly all major automakers.
Despite the hang-up with Lear, Ross said he plans to move ahead with that deal.
"Now we will try to finalize our arrangements to acquire the European Interior Systems operations of Lear and begin consolidating the industry," he said in a prepared statement.
Lear spokeswoman Andrea Puchalsky said the company is still pondering a potential deal with Ross.
"What we have said, our investment in that JV would be the contribution of our business," she said. "We are still evaluating those opportunities."
Collins & Aikman said it was reviewing the release Thursday morning.
Collins & Aikman, of Troy, Mich., ranks No. 29 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide original-equipment automotive parts sales of $3.09 billion in 2004.
You may e-mail Greg Migliore at [email protected]