According to people close to the matter, the advisory arm of Blackstone Group LP has been hired by the hedge fund owners of TI Automotive to start evaluating a range of options for the auto parts maker – which include an initial public offering or a sale.
Blackstone Advisory was asked in the recent weeks by TI Automotive’s owners to comne and evaluate competing buyout offers from Bain Capital LLC and Pamplona Capital Management LLP, while also at the same time value the deals against the process of going public in an initial offering (IPO).
The sources, talking to Reuters under the condition of anonymity, because the matter is not public, added that a good part of the shareholders consider they could get a higher valuation from going with TI Automotive public, instead of selling it outright to a private equity.
TI Automotive has been working for several months to find a buyer with Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase & Co and the owners brought in Blackstone separately after the takeover bids were below their expectations.
TI Automotive has been put up for sale again last year, after a failed sale attempt in 2011 by the current owner – a consortium of funds led by Oaktree Capital Group LLC and Duquesne Capital Management LLC, which acquired the company in 2007 in a debt restructuring.
According to its website, TI Automotive has north of 20,000 employees at 130 locations worldwide and has contracts to supply all of the world’s major automakers. Alongside US rival Cooper-Standard Holdings, Ti is one of the world’s largest suppliers of systems that allow the control, sensing and delivery of fluids and vapors in vehicles.