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New Private Equity Group For Michigan

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(credit: istock) Technology Report
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The Tempo Group and Leuliette Partners LLC Tuesday signed the final agreements to form Andus-Leuliette LLC, a broad-based financial group that will pursue mergers, acquisitions and restructuring in the automotive and transportation industries. This joint venture will combine the global manufacturing and Chinese market expertise of the Tempo Group with the operating management, investment, capital advisory and turnaround expertise of Leuliette Partners and its affiliates.

Andus-Leuliette will be headquartered in Canton Township, with offices in Birmingham; Los Angeles, Calif.; Chicago, Ill.; Beijing and Shanghai, China, and Hong Kong.

The firm will focus on U.S.- and European-based businesses that would benefit with greater access to the Chinese market, as well as businesses that require either an infusion of capital and management or both to support their strategic and tactical goals. Andus-Leuliette will further support business development with activities such as a trading company to facilitate access to Chinese markets and products as well as facilitate financial support with leasing and capital investment activities.

Accordingly, Andus-Leuliette, supported by the parent organizations of the Tempo Group and Leuliette Partners and its affiliates, announced the following business structure underneath Andus-Leuliette LLC to support these objectives:

Andus-Leuliette Advisors LLC: an M&A advisory service
Andus-Leuliette Trading Company LLC: a company focused on providing procurement services on a global basis, offering US/European-based receiving, logistics and assembly activities for Chinese-produced products, and facilitating access to Chinese markets, goods and services for non-Chinese producers
Andus-Leuliette Equipment Leasing LLC: a company focused on capital equipment leasing
Andus-Leuliette Capital LLC: an investment fund to support the parent firms’ objectives with equity capital as well as participate in other investment opportunities
Andus-Leuliette Operating LLC: a firm focused on overseeing the acquired companies and investments and providing, as necessary, services including interim and permanent management, access to Asian markets and strategic and tactical support

Andus-Leuliette will concentrate its efforts in automotive areas including chassis systems, powertrain systems, body systems, special vehicles, new energy technology and related component businesses.

Personnel appointments announced today include:

Tianbao Zhou has been named chairman of Andus-Leuliette LLC. Zhou, a well-known international industrialist and chairman of the Tempo Group, has led the creation of a number of Chinese- and U.S.-based businesses under the Tempo Group banner. The Tempo Group is a global automotive component supplier and systems integrator with deep insight and rich experience in the automotive industry.

Tempo has acquired a number of key automotive assets including forming the joint-venture company Pacific Century Motors with Beijing E-Town International Investment & Development Co., which purchased Saginaw Steering Gear, now known as Nexteer, from General Motors for $450 million in 2010. In 2009, Tempo also partnered with the Chinese government and China’s Capital Iron & Steel Co. to purchase Delphi’s Ride Dynamics and Brakes business in a transaction 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 Corporation (BAIC) and DaimlerChrysler. Before that, Tempo also acquired a die casting company, a diesel engine plant and a public company in China.

Timothy Leuliette has been named president and CEO of Andus-Leuliette LLC. Leuliette, chairman of Leuliette Partners, has been an investor and operating executive in the automotive and transportation industry for more than three decades. He has founded companies, led turnarounds and served in key operating positions in both public and private companies.

Leuliette most recently led the turnaround of Dura Corp. and its sale to Patriarch Partners. Prior to his tenure at Dura, Leuliette was co-chief executive officer of Asahi Tec Corp. and chairman and CEO of its subsidiary Metaldyne Corp., a company he co-founded in 2000.  Metaldyne was sold to Japan-based Asahi Tec in January of 2007. Leuliette was the first American to hold a CEO position in a large, non-captive, publicly held Japanese company.

Leuliette also was president and COO of the $10 billion Penske Corp. in the 1990s. In addition, in the late 1980s he was the first non-German to hold the position of corporate vice president and operating company board member in the German electrical and electronics company Siemens AG. Leuliette also served as chairman of the Detroit Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago for two terms.

Personnel appointments announced today in the subsidiary companies include:

James Klunk has been named president of Andus-Leuliette Advisors LLC. Klunk is a senior managing director of Leuliette Partners and a managing director of LonePine Capital Advisors, LLC. He has more than 15 years experience advising clients in M&A transactions, business valuations, capital markets transactions and asset management.

Prior to joining Leuliette Partners and founding LonePine, Klunk worked at Macquarie Capital where he led buyout transactions and advised numerous companies with acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, capital sourcing, leveraged recapitalizations and various forms of strategic planning. Previously, he was a director at Ernst & Young Corporate Finance/Guiliani Capital Advisors where he spent more than a decade providing financial advisory services across a range of industries.

James Zhou has been named president of Andus-Leuliette Trading Company LLC.  Zhou is senior vice president of the Tempo Group and responsible for its North American and European operations. He has more than 20 years experience in the automotive industry in a variety of areas including sales and marketing, manufacturing, engineering and international business development. He led the activities to build up and grow the North American and European businesses of the Tempo Group over the past 10 years. He also played important roles in the acquisitions Tempo accomplished in recent years.

Established in 1984, Tempo Group is a manufacturer of complex automotive components serving automotive OEMs worldwide. Tempo has emerged as a multinational company with a broad product portfolio that manages businesses with 13,000 employees and revenues of more than $3 billion. The company has multiple manufacturing facilities throughout China that produce components and modules for chassis, powertrain and driveline systems. Tempo has a global sales network covering North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America as well as an engineering center located in Canton, Michigan.

Leuliette Partners is a privately held financial and merchant banking firm headquartered in Birmingham, 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, restructuring, special situations, interim management and private equity investing.  The founding partners and their team of highly experienced professionals have global expertise in both mid- and large-cap companies and extensive experience advising clients in a number of manufacturing and service industries. They have served in a variety of corporate leadership positions in North America, Europe and Asia.

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