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Rediff News  All News  » Business » Amtek closes in on JL French unit

Amtek closes in on JL French unit

June 23, 2006 02:52 IST

The Amtek group is close to acquiring JL French Automotive Castings Inc's Whitham plant in Essex in the United Kingdom, pipping Swaraj Paul's Caparo Group.

Investment banking sources said the acquisition deal, financial details of which were not known, was expected to be announced by the end of June.

When contacted, a spokesperson for the Amtek group said, "We decline to comment on this deal at this point in time."

An e-mail sent to BDO Stoy Hayward LLP, administrators for JL French, elicited no response.

The sources said Amtek's proposed acquisition would save the Whitham facility from collapse. Amtek has been expanding its foundry business in the UK for quite some time. Last year, it bought Halberg Guss (Bourne), one of the largest die-casters in the UK.

Investment bankers said J L French on Wednesday received an approval from the bankruptcy court for its proposed restructuring and it targeted to emerge from bankruptcy by June 30.

The Whitham plant is the larger of the two facilities which were operated by J L French till it filed an application under Chapter 11 in February. The other plant at Powys in Wales had received a bid from a US private equity firm, they added.

The Sheboygan-based die-cast aluminium automotive component supplier's proposed restructuring would include an equity infusion of $130 million and $255 million in new financing. JL French Automotive Castings is a global designer and manufacturer of aluminium die-cast automotive parts.

It employs over 1,800 workers worldwide.

Stonebridge Investment, a private investment banking group, has picked up over 4 per cent stake in Amtek group's flagship Amtek Auto for Rs 144 crore.

Stonebridge bought a combined 48.06 lakh shares in Amtek Auto from the open market today and yesterday.

Kausik Datta in Mumbai