Futuris to be owned by Clearlake Capital

Futuris Automotive, Australia’s biggest car parts maker, has been sold to California-based Clearlake Capital for an enterprise value of $69 million.

The long-awaited sale of Futuris by rural services business Elders will be used to pay down $56 million of the latter’s debt, and is expected to be completed by the end of the month after approval by the Foreign Investments Review Board.

"The sale of Futuris is a good outcome for Elders, both in terms of our priority to focus capital on a pure play rural services business and the ability to further reduce our debt,'' said Elders CEO Malcolm Jackman in a statement to the ASX.

“It is also a very positive result for Futuris, its employees, customers and the Australian automotive industry as it represents a vote of confidence in both Futuris and the Australian industry.”

Futuris, which was a part of the Manufacturers’ Monthly’s Leaders’ Summit in May, manufactures here and in China, Thailand and in the United States for electric car company Tesla. It is also in the middle of establishing an Indian joint venture.

Futuris’s Dexter Clarke was appointed chief financial officer at the beginning of last month, and told The Australian Financial Review that it had been a hectic July.

“The sale process is taking up about 99.9 per cent of my time and then it is just getting up to speed with all the businesses around the world, as well as the [finance] team again,” he said.

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