NEW BOSTON, Mich. — Autokiniton US Holdings Inc. recently completed its acquisition of Tower International Inc. for $31 per share in cash, according to reports in the automotive industry press.
Tower International owns a factory on West 15th Street in Auburn, which employs more than 150 people, the plant’s manager said earlier this year. Operating in Auburn since 1985, the plant makes metal stampings for the automotive industry.
“It will be business as usual at Tower Auburn. ... No changes, except procedural, so far at our plant, and none expected,” Michael Morton, plant manager, said in an email Thursday.
In February, Morton told the Auburn Common Council that Tower was investing $6.55 million in equipment and improvements at its Auburn factory. He said the new investment includes 20 robotic assembly machines, plus improvements to the plant such as lighting and floors. The plant was preparing to begin making parts for a new sport-utility vehicle’s liftgate, doors, upper body, fenders and rear floor, Morton said.
With a new contract from the vehicle’s manufacturer, Morton said, the Auburn plant would add three salaried positions and 22 hourly full-time jobs. That would increase Tower’s roster to 146 permanent employees and 14 temporary workers.
Producing the new parts was to be a 4- to 5-year program, starting April 1, Morton said. He said the parts would be used in approximately 340,000 vehicles per year.
The Auburn Common Council approved a property tax incentive for Tower, which will reduce property taxes over the next five years on the new equipment and improvements.
Auburn Mayor Norm Yoder said this week that he recently visited the Auburn factory, and all the new equipment covered by the tax incentive is in place and operating.
Tower International is a leading manufacturer of engineered automotive structural metal components and assemblies, primarily serving original equipment manufacturers. It supplies body-structure stampings, frame and other chassis structures, and complex welded assemblies for small and large cars, crossovers, pickups, and sport utility vehicles.
Headquartered in Livonia, Michigan, Tower has approximately 5,700 employees and reported 2018 revenue of $1.6 billion. Tower has 14 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States, Mexico, and Brazil.
New owner Autokiniton US Holdings Inc. is a subsidiary of Autokiniton Global Group, a portfolio company of KPS Capital Partners, a global private equity firm with approximately $5.1 billion of assets under management.
As a result of the merger, Tower became a wholly owned subsidiary of Autokiniton Global Group, and its shares of common stock no longer trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
Autokiniton Global Group is a leading North American supplier of metal-formed components and complex assemblies to the automotive industry. It manufactures body structures, interiors, closures, thermal management components and chassis components.
Headquartered in New Boston, Michigan, Autokiniton Global Group serves customers including General Motors, Ford, Nissan, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Honda, Tesla and BMW, the company said.
For more than two decades, the partners of KPS have worked to realize significant capital appreciation by making controlling equity investments in manufacturing and industrial companies across an array of industries, including basic materials, branded consumer, health care and luxury products, automotive parts, capital equipment and general manufacturing, a news release said.
KPS said it works with talented management teams to make businesses better by improving the strategic position, competitiveness and profitability of its portfolio companies. The KPS Funds portfolio companies operate 106 manufacturing facilities in 28 countries and have approximately 24,000 employees, directly and through joint ventures worldwide.