Gores puts Sage Auto Interiors on the block

The Gores Group has put Sage Automotive Interiors up for sale more than two years after buying the company, three sources said.

Nomura is advising on the process, the people said. Greenville, South Carolina-based Sage develops and makes automotive bodycloth and headliners for car manufacturers including General Motors, Toyota and Honda. Sage produces about $42 million of EBITDA, one of the sources said.

First round bids for Sage are due Friday, the second person said. Sage is likely to receive bids of around 7x EBITDA, the source said.

The Sage transaction is too small for larger buyout shops but will likely attract mid-market attention. Buyout firms that have invested in auto include Kohlberg & Co, Wynnchurch Capital, the Sterling Group, Insight Equity and Platinum Equity, sources said.

Lear Corp, which acquired Guilford Mills in 2012, could also be involved, one source said.

Gores acquired Sage in May 2011. The investment came from Gores’ third fund, which collected $2 billion that year.

Executives at Lear declined comment. Gores, Sage and Nomura could not be reached for comment.

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