NORTHVILLE, Mich.—Cooper Standard Holdings Inc.'s former European rubber fluid transfer and specialty sealing business has a new owner.
Mutares S.E. & Co. KGaA has completed its acquisition of the assets from Northville-based Cooper Standard in a deal first disclosed in May. At that time, Cooper Standard said divestiture of the business immediately would result in increased profitability.
Cooper Standard, in re-examining its operations, decided certain European businesses lacked the scale needed in a very competitive market.
"We are continuing the execution of our longer-term strategic initiatives despite current market challenges and disruptions," Cooper Standard CEO Jeffrey Edwards recently said in a statement. "The divestiture of these non-core operations will enable us to improve profitability and focus important company resources in areas where we see greater potential for profitable growth."
Mutares, an investment firm based in Munich, said the deal will show off its turnaround expertise and strengthen the company's automotive segment, while offering synergy potential to its Elastomer Solutions Group.
Under the agreement, Mutares gains three rubber fluid transfer systems plants—two in Poland and one in Spain—that supply automotive manufacturers. A factory in Italy that makes finished goods as well as compounds for specialty sealing products for the European operations also is part of the deal.
In India, Mutares takes control of seven locations that make sealing, fuel and brake products and systems. The Indian operations included in the transaction lacked scale and growth for the company, Cooper Standard previously said.
An information technology development office in India is excluded from the deal.
Combined, the European and Indian acquisition impacts about 2,500 employees.
Cooper Standard did not receive proceeds from the ownership transfer, but instead saw value in removing the operations' impact on its bottom line. The divested operations saw sales of nearly $200 million in 2019, but registered a loss of about $14 million in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
Cooper Standard still is active in Europe and Asia, with 21 production sites in eight European countries along with 18 manufacturing locations in China and South Korea.