Canadian Manufacturing

Canadian auto parts company ABC Group bought by U.S. private investment firm

Deal prompts top management shuffle at Toronto-based auto supplier with 6,000 employees at 36 facilities in North America, Europe and Asia


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Toronto—An affiliate of U.S. investment firm Cerberus Capital Management has announced it will acquire Canadian auto parts company ABC Group Inc.

A major player in the Canadian auto industry, the privately-held ABC Group manufactures a range of thermoplastic components for OEMs, employing more than 6,000 workers across 36 facilities globally.

The Toronto-headquartered company, which was founded in 1974, did not disclose the terms of the deal, but said the agreement will shake up the company’s leadership.

The company’s chairman and CEO, Helga Schmidt, will step down from her roles, while a number of company executives will assume new positions, Cerberus, said. Current ABC Group president and general counsel, Mary Anne Bueschkens, will become the company’s new CEO.

“We are excited to be partnering with Cerberus, whose automotive sector expertise and commitment to our strategy will be extremely valuable in supporting ABC’s future growth plans,” Bueschkens said. “This transaction will provide ABC Group with greater access to capital to support further investments in our people, products and operations, ensuring a continued legacy of delivering innovation, quality and exceptional service to our global automotive customer base.

“We look forward to our next phase of growth alongside Cerberus as we enhance and expand our integrated product solutions and further broaden our extensive thermoplastics manufacturing expertise,” she added.

Derrick Phelps, currently the company’s deputy president, will assume the role of president, while Mark Poynton will continue to lead operations as executive vice-president and COO. Cerberus also plans to put together a new board of directors for the company.

Commenting on the deal, Cerberus’ managing director, Dev Kapadia, said ABC Group is well-positioned to “capitalize on trends driving the evolution of the automotive industry.”

“We firmly believe in ABC Group’s proven business model, consisting of innovative product solutions and vertically integrated global manufacturing operations, and are confident that our automotive sector expertise and extensive operational capabilities will enable the Company to continue to grow,” he said.


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