Littlejohn & Co. LLC said Wednesday it closed the sale of Henniges Automotive Inc. to Aviation Industry Corp. of China. Financial terms weren’t announced. Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Henniges designs, makes and sells highly engineered vehicle systems for doors, windows, trunks, lift-gates, sunroofs and hoods. Morgan Stanley and UBS served as financial advisors advised Littlejohn.
GREENWICH, CT, September 9, 2015 – Littlejohn & Co., LLC, a private investment firm based in Greenwich, CT, announced today that it has completed the sale of Henniges Automotive, Inc., a leading provider of vehicle sealing and anti-vibration solutions for the global automotive industry, to Aviation Industry Corp. of China (“AVIC”).
Headquartered in Auburn Hills, MI, Henniges designs, manufactures and sells a complete line of highly engineered vehicle systems for doors, windows, trunks, lift-gates, sunroofs and hoods. Through its global network of 15 manufacturing plants and five engineering and technical centers, Henniges possesses full service design, test, prototype, and manufacturing capabilities that meet the demanding performance requirements of its blue chip customer base throughout the world. The company has nearly 7,000 employees in six countries.
Littlejohn acquired Henniges in 2010 and recruited auto industry veteran Douglas DelGrosso as CEO and has since worked closely with him and the senior management team to expand Henniges’ global manufacturing capabilities, secure substantial new business, and execute several strategic acquisitions and alliances to solidify the company’s leading position as a supplier of premium and cost-competitive sealing solutions. Under Littlejohn’s ownership, Henniges completed a strategic add-on acquisition in Eastern Europe, fully consolidated ownership of its joint venture operation in China, and launched production in four new state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in China and Mexico.
Doug DelGrosso, Chief Executive Officer of Henniges, said, “The Littlejohn team provided us valuable assistance and support that enabled us to secure nearly $500 million of new business over the last three years and to drive substantial operational improvements throughout our organization. With AVIC’s support, Henniges remains well-positioned to capitalize on OEMs migrating towards global platforms where few players can match the company’s worldwide footprint and capabilities.”
Michael Kaplan, Managing Director of Littlejohn, added, “At the time of our acquisition, we viewed Henniges as an attractive platform through which to invest in the automotive sector, which was in the early innings of recovery following the economic recession. Together with Henniges’ world-class management team, we transformed the company into a global leader in its space, achieved double digit top-line growth and more than doubled EBITDA.”
Brian Ramsay, President of Littlejohn, added, “We would like to thank the Henniges team for their strong stewardship of the company over the last four and a half years. Henniges enjoys a bright future under AVIC’s ownership given the company’s positioning as a technology and innovation leader, best-in-class solutions that drive value for its customers and strong track record of execution.”
Morgan Stanley and UBS served as financial advisors and Pepper Hamilton LLP provided legal advice to Littlejohn & Co.
About Littlejohn & Co., LLC
Littlejohn & Co. is a Greenwich, Connecticut-based private equity firm investing in middle-market companies that are undergoing a fundamental change in capital structure, strategy, operations or growth that can benefit from its operational and strategic approach. The firm is currently investing from Littlejohn Fund V, L.P., which has $2 billion in capital commitments. For more information, visit www.littlejohnllc.com.