TROY, Mich. (Nov. 29) — The proposed joint venture of automotive supplier Lear Corp. and financier Wilbur L. Ross has agreed to acquire 14 Collins & Aikman Corp. sites in Europe — which could launch the new International Auto Components Group.
Southfield-based Lear and W.L. Ross & Co. LLC of New York are in the process of creating IAC, which would combine Lear´s plastics-intensive interior trim unit with other auto supply production, including C&A´s U.S. holdings. Those holdings have been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since May.
Troy, Mich.-based C&A´s European facilities entered court protection shortly after the North American parent filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit. Administrators in England have overseen day-to-day operations and options for the businesses.
The new deal with IAC, announced Nov. 28, would sell five plants in England, along with facilities in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden to the venture.
The court-appointed administrators, Simon Appell and Alastair Beveridge, are continuing to weigh options for two other factories in England — at St. Neot and Stourport — while other United Kingdom operations in Redditch, Walkden and Carlisle are shutting down.
Discussions are under way for the separate sale of four C&A facilities in Italy.
The sale, for an undisclosed amount, still must win approval from government agencies, Appell warned in a news release.