Platinum Equity LLC, billionaire Tom Gores’ Beverly Hills, California-based private-investment firm, said it combined two makers of auto chassis parts into Chassix, with $1.2 billion in annual revenue.
Robert Remenar, who left as chief executive officer of Chinese-owned Nexteer Automotive Corp. last year to run Platinum’s Diversified Machine Inc., will also lead Chassix.
Platinum acquired Diversified Machine, a maker of aluminum and ductile-iron castings, from Carlyle Group LP (CG:US) in December 2011, and SMW Automotive LLC in January 2012. The combination creates a company with 3,600 employees and a customer list that includes major global automakers.
“This part of the industry underwent a lot of rationalization in the downturn,” Remenar said in an interview. “We’re reinvesting in the industry with a scale and scope that’s somewhat unique for Chassix compared with our competitors.”
Chassix, which will be based in Southfield, Michigan, has 25 locations in eight countries. Of the 3,600 employees, 1,200 are based in 10 facilities in Michigan, Remenar said.
The company gets about 70 percent of its revenue making steering knuckles and control arms. It makes parts out of ductile iron and aluminum. Its customers include Fiat SpA (F), Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Co. (F:US), General Motors Co. (GM:US), Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), Volkswagen AG. (VOW) Fiat and Chrysler combined are Chassix’s largest customer and no automaker makes up more than a third of the Chassix’s revenue, Remenar said.
Remenar, who started in the automotive industry in 1985 with then-General Motors Corp.’s Saturn division, was CEO of Nexteer from October 2009 until 2012. He was president of the former Delphi Corp.’s steering division, as Nexteer was known when it was part of the GM spinoff, since 2002.
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