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Wilbur Ross Said to Postpone IAC Auto Supplier IPO Until ’14

Billionaire Wilbur Ross
Billionaire Wilbur Ross, who built his fortune buying bankrupt steel, coal and textile companies, assembled International Automotive through takeovers starting in 2006. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg

Billionaire Wilbur Ross’s auto supplier International Automotive Components Group SA is delaying its initial public offering until 2014, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

The individuals asked not to be identified discussing private information.

International Automotive was seeking as much as $115 million in an IPO of the Luxembourg-based auto-parts supplier, according to a June filing. The amount is a placeholder used to determine registration fees. The company previously shelved an initial offering in 2011 amid market turmoil in the U.S. and Europe, two people familiar with the matter said at the time.

“We’re at the end of a very strong year and investment managers are not going to do anything unless there’s something that looks like a pretty sure bet right now,” Kathy Smith, principal at the IPO investment adviser and research firm Renaissance Capital LLC in Greenwich, Connecticut, said in an interview. Companies that may offer lower growth prospects “will be easier to sell when we roll over the calendar.”

The delay follows the postponement of a planned IPO of Chrysler Group LLC. The automaker majority owned by Fiat SpA, pushed its share offering to next year in order to address a tax issue, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Instrument Displays

Ross, who built his fortune buying bankrupt steel, coal and textile companies, assembled International Automotive through takeovers starting in 2006. The company, which makes instrument displays, door panels and headliners, reported a loss of $38 million on sales of about $4.7 billion in 2012, according to the company’s S-1 filing.

International Automotive employs about 27,000 people in 19 countries. General Motors Co. accounted for 17 percent of its 2012 sales, as did Fiat and Chrysler collectively, the filing showed. Tata Motors Ltd.’s Jaguar and Land Rover units made up 15 percent, while Ford Motor Co. contributed 12 percent.

David Ladd, an International Automotive spokesman, declined to comment.

While based in Luxembourg, International Automotive’s North American and Asian operations are run out of Southfield, Michigan.

Bank of America Corp. is leading the offering with Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co. also serving as underwriters.

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