US private equity sponsor Ceberus exits Guilford Mills in $257m deal

US private equity major Cerberus Capital Management LP said it had completed its exit from Guilford Mills Inc, selling the North Carolina-based manufacturer of automotive and speciality fabrics for USD257m (EUR205m).

The business was acquired by Lear Corporation (NYSE:LEA), the US automotive industry supplier of seating and electrical power management systems. The transaction, which was conducted through a Cerberus affiliate, was finalised on 31 May 2012. The private equity group bought Guilford in 2004.

Dev Kapadia, managing director at Cerberus, said that his company was pleased with the closure of the sale, which places Guilford under the wing of a world-class corporation. The deal with Lear represents the achievement of a key objective for Cerberus since it leaves Guilford in the hands of a market-leading enterprise.

Under the ownership of Lear, Guilford will be able to reach new heights in terms of performance and success. This has proved a good investment for Cerberus, which is proud of its contribution to Guilford’s achievements over the course of their partnership, Kapadia stated.

Guilford’s former chairman Chan Galbato said that the support provided by Cerberus had helped Guilford become a market leader in the automotive and specialty fabrics business. The partnership had made it possible for Guilford to streamline production, launch best-in-class products and assemble an exceptionally strong management team, Galbato added.