TURIN -- Italian brake manufacturer Brembo is doubling the size of its business in North America with the acquisition of Hayes Lemmerz International braking division.
Brembo is paying $58 million for Hayes Lemmerz' Automotive Brake Components division, which includes factories in Homer, Mich., in the US and in Apodaca, Mexico.
The plants manufacture brake rotors and drums for the North American passenger car and light truck markets and employ about 250 people.
Automotive Brake Components had sales last year of about $120 million.
"This is another important step for Brembo in the NAFTA region, where we already have a strong presence with 2006 sales of approximately $140 million (95.4 million euros), Brembo Chairman Alberto Bombassei said in a statement.
Lemmerz rotor business will strengthen Brembo's leading position in the North American brake rotor market.
"We continue to believe that North America, as a mature and sophisticated market, is one of the most important in the world which fits well with Brembo's strategic position," Bombassei said.
Daniel Sandberg, president of Hayes Lemmerz' Automotive Components Group, said: "We have built a strong business with a solid reputation for quality products, delivery and performance. Combining this business with an international, technically dynamic brake company like Brembo will better position the combined company to grow and compete in the global market."
Brembo supplies high performance braking systems for cars, commercial vehicles and motorbikes around the world.
The company is based in Curno, Northern Italy. It operates in 12 countries, with 23 production and commercial sites employing 4,700 people.
Brembo's revenues last year grew 13.3 percent to 806 million euros from 711.6 million euros the year before.
Last year, 11.9 percent of Brembo sales were in the NAFTA area. Brembo has a manufacturing plant in Puebla, Mexico, and business sites in Costa Mesa, Calif., and Charlotte, N.C.
Last year, Brembo's net profit grew 6 percent to 42.9 million euros from 40.5 million euros the year before.