Patriarch Partners Affiliates to Acquire Majority Ownership of DURA Automotive Systems

Dec 11, 2009, 10:30 ET from Patriarch Partners, LLC

NEW YORK, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Affiliates of Patriarch Partners, LLC ("Patriarch") today announced that they have entered into an agreement to recapitalize and acquire a majority interest in DURA Automotive Systems, Inc. ("DURA").

Under the agreement, Patriarch will invest up to $125 million of capital and will take a controlling stake in DURA. This transaction completes the transformation of DURA, a company that emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June, 2008, into an automotive supplier with a strong balance sheet, industry-leading intellectual property and a broad low-cost global presence. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including German regulatory approval.

At the same time, Patriarch is also announcing its intention to pursue an integration of Global Automotive Systems ("GAS"), another Patriarch-affiliated company, with DURA. GAS has a broad range of metal-forming, welding and assembly capabilities, with material expertise ranging from aluminum and low-carbon steel to ultra high-strength steel. That expertise would provide DURA with a North American-based manufacturing footprint for expanding its Structure & Safety Systems product lines, which include door structures, parking brakes and other components. The combined companies would operate under the DURA brand name.

"Patriarch is committed to the preservation of jobs and the strengthening of industry through the confluence of manufacturing and technology. This investment exemplifies that strategy," said Lynn Tilton, CEO of Patriarch Partners. "The strategic investment in DURA and subsequent integration with Global Automotive Systems significantly enhances DURA's capabilities in North America and creates a robust global supplier with the depth and breadth that will offer rich benefits to DURA's customers and other stakeholders."

"Over the last 15 months DURA has accomplished a comprehensive business restructuring and is now financially poised for growth," said Timothy D. Leuliette, chairman, president and CEO of DURA. "That operational restructuring made our company more globally competitive and is a testament to the commitment and skills of our employees.

"That hard work drew Patriarch's interest in DURA, and we are pleased that they recognized the untapped value in our company. We are very excited about this transaction and about the integration of GAS and DURA. These transactions will make DURA one of the least-leveraged suppliers in the auto industry, expand our North American footprint and give us greater access to capital. We look forward to a bright future together," Leuliette said.

About DURA

DURA is a leading independent designer and manufacturer of driver control systems, seating control systems, glass systems, engineered assemblies, structural door modules and exterior trim systems for the global automotive industry. DURA markets its automotive products to every North American, Asian and European original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and to many leading Tier 1 automotive suppliers. DURA is headquartered in Rochester Hills, Mich. It had sales of $1.75 billion in 2008 and has 9,800 employees in 33 manufacturing operations in 16 countries. Information about DURA and its products are available on the internet at

About Patriarch

Patriarch is a vertically-integrated private equity firm with robust in-house operational turn-around expertise. Founded in 2000, Patriarch was built upon a patented financial model designed to manage and monetize the distressed portfolios of financial institutions. Patriarch has since evolved into a global investment firm that concentrates on direct investments in and the transformation of complex businesses, building integrated industry platforms. Patriarch manages funds with over $7 billion of equity and secured loan assets, with equity investments in more than 70 companies and controlling interests in approximately two-thirds of these. For more information, please visit

SOURCE Patriarch Partners, LLC