Hephaestus Buying Delphi Bearings Biz

Delphi has agreed to sell its North American bearings business to a unit of Hephaestus Holdings Inc., a maker of forged parts for the North American automotive industry. Hephaestus is a portfolio company of KPS Capital Partners.


Hephaestus Holdings, Inc. (“HHI”), the leading independent manufacturer of, today announced that its indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary Kyklos, Inc. (“Kyklos”) has entered into an asset purchase agreement with Delphi Corporation, Delphi Automotive Systems LLC and Delphi Technologies, Inc. (collectively “Delphi”) under which it will acquire substantially all of the non-cash assets primarily used in Delphi's North American Bearings Business (the “Bearings Business”).  Kyklos entered into the agreement after it was declared the winning bidder in an auction conducted as part of a sale process under Section 363 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, and will acquire the Bearings Business free and clear of substantially all liens, claims, encumbrances, and interests.  The sale of the Bearings Business is subject to certain customary closing conditions, including approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York at a hearing that will be held on March 19, 2008.  Closing of the transaction is expected to occur on or before April 30, 2008.


The Bearings Business is the leading producer of Gen III wheel bearings in North America and the primary supplier of this product to General Motors Corporation in North America. The Bearings Business, including the New Departure Hyatt brand, invented the current Gen III wheel bearing technology and has maintained its industry leading technological advantage.  It enjoys a proven track record for the industry's lowest warranty rates and highest quality standards.


Kyklos is acquiring substantially all of the Bearings Business's inventory, intellectual property, and machinery and equipment, including a manufacturing and engineering facility located in Sandusky, Ohio. Kyklos will offer employment to all of the Bearings Business's employees and is expecting to assume all of the customer and supplier contracts.


George Thanopoulos, Chief Executive Officer of HHI, said, “I am thrilled with the success and rapid growth of HHI since its creation. HHI was formed to consolidate the North American forging industry and to expand into products and markets where our forging and metalworking expertise result in immediate synergy and value creation.  We are very excited to expand into the wheel bearings business, and look forward to becoming a significant global competitor in the industry.


“We would like to thank GM for supporting HHI and KPS in our acquisition of the Bearings Business. The acquisition materially expands the vibrant relationship between GM and HHI.  


“There is compelling industrial logic driving this acquisition. First, HHI forges and machines products that are very similar, and in some cases identical, to the components used by the Bearings Business. As a result of the acquisition, HHI will quickly become an integrated supplier of wheel bearings, similar to substantially all of the participants in the global wheel bearings industry. Second, the Bearings Business will benefit significantly from the leadership of our experienced and talented management team. Third, we will provide the Bearings Business with the capital and resources required to expand its technological advantage and diversify its customer base. Fourth, HHI has successfully diversified its customer base across North American and New Domestic customers, and we believe we can accomplish the same with the Bearings Business. Finally, we have a history of working closely with labor unions to successfully affect the turnaround of manufacturing operations.  We look forward to working with the UAW to create a long term sustainable business in Sandusky with a competitive cost structure and the finest quality in the industry.”


Hephaestus Holdings, Inc. is a portfolio company of KPS Capital Partners, LP (www.kpsfund.com).


About Hephaestus Holdings, Inc.


Hephaestus Holdings, Inc. (“HHI”), through its Jernberg Holdings, Inc. and Impact Forge Holdings, Inc. subsidiaries, is the largest independent manufacturer of forged parts for the North American automotive industry. Jernberg Holdings, Inc. (www.hhiforge.com), through its subsidiaries, manufacturers highly engineered symmetrical forged parts for various power train and wheel-end applications. Impact Forge Group, Inc. manufactures highly engineered symmetrical and asymmetrical forged parts for power train and wheel-end applications. HHI is owned by KPS Capital Partners, LP and an affiliate of Mitsubishi Corp. Employing over 1,100 employees, HHI operates seven manufacturing facilities located in the Chicago, Illinois, Indianapolis, Indiana and Coldwater, Michigan vicinities. (www.hhiforge.com)