Horizon Global in $48.5M buyout from Rochester Hills’ First Brands

PLYMOUTH—Horizon Global Corp. (NYSE: HZN), the Plymouth-based manufacturer of towing and trailering equipment, has announced it will be purchased by Rochester Hills-based First Brands Group LLC for $1.75 a share.

Based on the current 27.7 million shares outstanding, the offer prices Horizon at $48.5 million.

Horizon Global shares Tuesday hit $1.72 a share, up from 49 cents a share before the offer.

First Brand is a manufacturer of brake products, filters, wiper blades, gas springs, spark plugs, and fuel and water pumps. In a news release, the companies said the buyout “will result in a collection of market leading brands within the automotive industry.” They also said the buyout will result in improved access to capital for product development.

“The transaction represents the culmination of a thorough review of strategic alternatives announced in August and represents what we believe is the best outcome for our customers, suppliers, shareholders and employees,” stated Horizon Global’s interim CEO and board chair  John C. Kennedy. “After consideration of a number of different alternatives, the board believes this transaction is the best path forward for shareholders to address Horizon Global’s capital needs while supporting the long-term growth and sustainability of Horizon Global’s business. Our management team and employees of Horizon Global are committed to delivering innovative, high-quality towing and trailering products, and this transaction provides the resources needed to deliver on that commitment.”

Added First Brands executive vice president Guy Andrysick: “We are pleased to welcome Horizon Global to the First Brands family, we are excited to build on Horizon Global’s established products, brands and customers and we look forward to realizing benefits for both Horizon Global and First Brands as we move forward.”

Closing the deal is dependent on a majority of Horizon shares agreeing to the offer, as well as the tender of Horizon’s Series B preferred stock at a cash consideration equal to the applicable redemption price. Horizon Global officials said they expect the transaction to close by March 31.

Horizon Global’s brands include Draw-Tite, Reese, Westfalia, Bulldog, Fulton and Tekonsha. The company has approximately 3,500 employees. More at  www.horizonglobal.com.

First Brands’ products include Centric, Raybestos, and StopTech brake products, Fram and Luber-finer filters, Trico and Anco wiper blades, Carter fuel and water pumps, Autolite spark plugs, and StrongArm lift supports. More at https://firstbrandsgroup.com/.

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