Wilbur Ross' International Automotive Components Group LLC has agreed to acquire Lear Corp.'s European interiors business in exchange for a 34 percent interest in Ross' company.
The combined companies would have annual revenue of $1.2 billion, 20 plants and operations and a net worth of $300 million.
The deal already has antitrust clearance. The closing should occur before Sept. 30, Ross said in a statement Thursday. Ross and Lear revealed plans for the venture earlier this year.
The acquisition "moves Ross' strategy to become a global low-cost supplier of auto components into high gear," a spokesman for Ross said in an e-mail.
Ross also is interested in a joint venture with Lear to obtain the seat maker's North American interiors business. But that deal hinges on Ross' ability to acquire the assets of Collins & Aikman Corp. out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
International Automotive Components acquired most of Collins & Aikman's European assets earlier this year.
Ross said Lear contributed about $700 million in sales in Europe. He said he's happy with IAC's position in Europe and Brazil, since the recent acquisition of a majority interest in Plascar Participcoes Industrias S.A. in Sao Paulo.
The next natural place to focus is North America and Asia. He said IAC is looking for companies large and small in Asia.
Ross is a billionaire New York investor who acquired several bankrupt steel companies this decade before selling them.
You may e-mail Dave Barkholz at [email protected]