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Wilbur Ross Still Sees Eventual IPO for IAC Auto Supplier

Billionaire Wilbur Ross said he still intends to have an initial public offering of his International Automotive Components Group, though he declined to say when.

Ross shelved an IPO of the auto-parts supplier in 2011 because of market turmoil in the U.S. and Europe, two people familiar with the matter said at that time.

“IAC will be a public company,” Ross said in an interview after a speech at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit. Asked if an IPO could come in 2013, Ross declined to comment.

While Europe is mired in its worst sales slump in 19 years, U.S. auto sales may climb this year to 15.1 million, the average of 18 estimates in a Bloomberg survey of analysts, from 14.5 million in 2012. The industry is benefiting from consumers replacing cars and trucks that are on average, the oldest ever on U.S. roads. A 2013 gain would be the fourth in a row since the 2009 U.S. government rescue of the predecessors of General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC.

Ross, who built his fortune buying bankrupt steel, coal and textile companies, assembled IAC through takeovers starting in 2006. IAC, which makes instrument displays, door panels and headliners, had sales of about $4.7 billion in 2012. The company employs about 23,000 people in 20 countries, according to IAC.

IAC’s largest customers are GM, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler, which is majority owned by Fiat SpA.

IAC is based in Luxembourg with North American and Asian operations run out of Southfield, Michigan. Jim Kamsickas is chief executive officer.

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