Cypress in $1.1bn auto deal

Dana Corporation and The Cypress Group have signed an agreement for Cypress to acquire the Automotive Aftermarket Group, subject to regulatory approval.

New York based private equity firm The Cypress Group has agreed to acquire the Automotive Aftermarket Group from Dana Corporation, the automotive design, engineering and manufacturing conglomerate, for $1.1 billion (€888 million).

The Automotive Aftermarket Group produces automotive replacement products and had sales of approximately $2 billion in 2003. The company employs around 13,000 people globally. Subject to regulatory approval, the deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

Commenting on the transaction in a statement, Michael Finley, managing director of Cypress, said: “We look forward to working with the management of Dana’s Automotive Aftermarket Group as they continue to focus on the higher growth segments of their market.”

Cypress has previous experience in the automotive industry, having previously invested in automotive interior supplier Lear Corporation.

Earlier this year, Cypress returned three times capital to investors when it sold its minority stake in cinema chain Cinemark to Chicago-based Madison Dearborn Partners as part of a $1.5 billion transaction.

Last summer, the firm acquired Meow Mix, the largest dry cat-food maker in the US, for approximately $430 million from Boston buyout firm JW Childs.

Cypress manages two private equity funds with commitments in excess of $3.5 billion.