DETROIT — Tempo Group and Leuliette Partners LLC have signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture management, trading and investment firm that will pursue mergers, acquisitions and restructuring in the automotive and transportation industries.
Established in 1984, Tempo Group is a manufacturer of complex automotive components serving automotive OEMs worldwide. The company is headquartered in China, with multiple manufacturing facilities throughout China that produce components and modules for chassis, powertrain and driveline systems. The company has a global sales network covering North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America as well as an engineering center located in Canton, Mich.
Leuliette Partners LLC is a privately held financial and merchant banking firm headquartered in Birmingham, Mich., with offices in Chicago and Palm Beach, Fla. Leuliette Partners and its affiliates, LonePine Capital Advisors, The Novak Group and Bloomfield Hills Partners, offer M&A advisory services, capital solutions, restructuring, special situations, interim management and private equity investing. Former Dura Automotive and Metaldyne exec Tim Leuliette is chairman of the firm.
The joint venture firm will focus on four specific activities: M&A advisory, operating ownership of acquired companies, trading, financial and procurement services and formation of an investment fund. The two companies say they will concentrate these efforts in automotive areas including chassis systems, powertrain systems, body systems, special vehicles, new energy technology and related component business.
Tempo has a dedicated, high-profile team and a global network of resources for acquiring, integrating and operating its businesses. In July, 2010, it formed the joint venture company Pacific Century Motors with Beijing E-Town International Investment & Development Co. and purchased Saginaw Steering Gear from General Motors for $450 million, which is now known as Nexteer. In 2009, the company partnered with the Chinese government and China’s Capital Iron & Steel Co. to purchase Delphi’s Ride Dynamics and Brakes business in a deal valued at nearly $100 million.
In addition, Tempo acquired several Delphi brake component plants in Ohio in 2005. In the same year, Tempo acquired axle and engine plants from a joint venture between Beijing Automotive Industrial Corp. (BAIC) and DaimlerChrysler. Before that, Tempo also acquired a die casting company, a diesel engine plant and a public company in China.
"I am very pleased Tempo and Leuliette Partners have established this relationship as a key element of our collective business activities," said Tim Leuliette. "The joint venture will harness the core strengths of both firms and provide an unparalleled business and service platform for the automotive and transportation industries."
Tianbao Zhou, chairman of the Tempo Group, and Leuliette signed the letter of intent at Tempo’s North American headquarters in Canton, Mich., on Dec.13. Formation of the joint venture investment firm is expected to be complete by year’s end.