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Wednesday, 12 June 2013 15:10

Hastings Manufacturing acquired by PE firm

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One of West Michigan's oldest automotive suppliers has been acquired by an East Coast private equity firm.

Hastings Manufacturing Co., a producer of piston rings since 1915, announced in late May that it had been acquired by RFE Investment Partners of New Canaan, Conn.

The manufacturer's management team participated with RFE in the acquisition. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"RFE Investment Partners was chosen for their stellar history of working with similar companies and assisting them to realize their potential," said Bob Kollar, president and CEO of Hastings Manufacturing.

Jim Parsons, managing partner for RFE, told MiBiz the two companies were introduced by North Carolina investment bank, Edgeview Partners. Parsons said his own past experience helping run Lansing-based automotive supplier Airlift Company, as well as Hastings Manufacturing's growth and management team all led to RFE's decision to acquire the company. 

RFE manages more than $450 million in committed capital. 

Hastings Manufacturing produces piston rings for OEM and aftermarket automotive applications and has diversified into markets such as lawn and garden, power generation, compressors and power sports.

The supplier has 275 employees at its Hastings, Mich. facility and a plant in China. Koller did not disclose annual sales figures.

While automakers have started turning toward alternative fuels and electric vehicles, executives remain confident that Hastings Manufacturing's continued production of piston rings will be a crucial part of the automotive supply chain for years to come.

"We believe the combustion engine will be around a lot longer," Parsons said.

Kollar agreed.

"Although alternate sources of energy continue to be developed, (internal combustion) engines are not going to be disappearing anytime soon," Kollar said. "They continue to become more and more efficient as technological advances are made. I think back to when I first began to drive (and) the sizes of the engines and the poor mileage. Look under the hood today. The engines are smaller, the mileage is incredibly better and look at all the accessories that engine is powering."

Read 4939 times Last modified on Monday, 22 July 2013 08:44

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