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Private investment firm Littlejohn & Co., LLC (Greenwich, CT) has sold 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).

September 10, 2015

2 Min Read
Chinese firm acquires U.S. sealing solutions supplier

Headquartered in Auburn Hills, MI, Henniges designs, manufactures and sells a complete line of engineered sealing vehicle systems for doors, windows, trunks, lift-gates, sunroofs and hoods. Henniges possesses full service design, test, prototype, and manufacturing capabilities through its global network of 15 manufacturing plants and five engineering and technical centers. The company has nearly 7,000 employees in six countries.

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Glass run channels are among the sealing solutions offered by Henniges.

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.

The company also broke ground in August this year for a new 323,000 square foot plant at its existing Torreon site in Mexico that opened in 2012. Also in August, Henniges formed a strategic alliance with Anhui Tuosheng Auto-Parts (ATA; Guangde, Anhui Province, China) under which they will share a technical and manufacturing alliance to support the anti-vibration needs of a key customer.

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."

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