By Dustin Walsh, Crain's Detroit Business
Dearborn, Michigan -- An initial public offering by global supplier International Automotive Components Group would present a windfall for Southfield, Michigan-based Lear Corp.
Dearborn-based IAC, owned by New York investor and billionaire Wilbur Ross, said it plans to go public by the end of the year, people close the matter told Bloomberg this week. IAC makes instrument displays, door panels and headliners. The company reported sales of $3200 million in 2009 and employs 23 000 in 15 countries.
Lear owns 22.9 percent of IAC and plans to sell its investment in the event of an IPO, said Mel Stephens, vice president of investor and corporate relations.
"The reason we retained a minority interest in this business was because we hoped to monetise our interest someday as Wilbur consolidated this segment and the global auto industry recovered from the downturn," Stephens wrote in an e-mail.
If Lear cashed out its IAC stake in a stock sale, it could generate $200 million to $300 million, or $5 to $6 per share, according to an analyst note written by Brett Hoselton, an automotive equity research analyst for Keybanc Capital Markets Inc. in Cleveland.
By those calculations, IAC's stock sale would deliver a more than sevenfold return on Lear's original $27 million investment in 2007.
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