Metaldyne LLC – a manufacturer of engine, transmission, and drivetrain components and systems for cars and light trucks — has a new owner, its third in the past decade. American Securities LLC has added the Michigan-based to its estimated $8-billion portfolio, paying a reported $820 million to Carlyle Group L.P. and expanding its ownership position among automotive Tier One manufacturers.

The actual cost of the transaction was not made public.

In October, American Securities acquired HHI Group Holdings from KPS Capital Partners.  “We anticipate continued growth for the auto industry as it recovers globally,” noted Kevin S. Penn, managing director at American Securities, “and Metaldyne is well positioned to take advantage of that opportunity.”

Metaldyne has four operating divisions: Drivetrain Products; Vibration Control Systems; Sintered Products (including powder-forged connecting rods); and Forged Products. The last of these manufactures steel forgings at plants in Nürnberg and Zell, Germany, Oslavny and Zbysov, Czech Republic, and Kopstal, Luxembourg, producing a long list of products: differential gears and pinions; hollowed, solid and eccentric shafts; splined sleeves; sliding sleeves; pistons and housings; suspension components; and input / output hubs.

In all, Metaldyne has 25 plants in the U.S. and 12 other countries, with over $1 billion in annual revenue, supplying General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group LLC, and BMW AG, among others.

Carlyle was the leading investor in a company formed to buy Metaldyne in 2009 after it filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy claim, citing an unmanageable debt load, weak automotive industry demand, and a lack of available credit to maintain its organization. 

That development followed an ambitious attempt to consolidate Metaldyne with Asahi Tec Corp. in a planned global organization supplier of powertrain and chassis systems, aluminum and ductile iron castings, and aluminum automotive wheels.

Despite the similarities between Metaldyne and HHI, American Securities is not expected to consolidate the two groups. In fact, one of the components of the HHI organization is FormTech LLC, which was established in 2006 by investors who acquired the hot, warm, and cold forging operations of an even earlier Metaldyne organization.

The current Metaldyne has grown impressively since Carlyle acquired it in October 2009, and it boasts more than over $1 billion in annual revenues. “Our acquisition of Metaldyne is another example of American Securities’ strategy of investing in market-leading companies,” said Penn.  “We are excited to make an investment in Metaldyne because the company has an exceptional management team and a solid growth trajectory.”

“We are proud of our commitment to operational excellence, differentiating technology, and continuous improvement,” offered Metaldyne president and CEO Thomas Amato.  “We look forward to partnering with American Securities to accelerate the growth of our company and to continue our global collaboration with our customers.”