Automotive

We represent many leaders in the automotive field and funds and financial institutions that are investing in this sector. Our clients include FIAT, Renault S.A., United Auto Group, Safelite Glass, Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association,  Mazda North America Operations, Yamaha Motor Corp., Autozone and Dale Earnhardt, Inc.

We represent many leaders in the automotive field and funds and financial institutions that are investing in this sector. Our clients include FIAT, Renault S.A., United Auto Group, Safelite Glass, Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association,  Mazda North America Operations, Yamaha Motor Corp., Autozone and Dale Earnhardt, Inc.

Business Reorganization and Restructuring

  • Altia Industries/French Fund for the Modernization of Motor Vehicle Equipment Manufacturers (FMEA): Represented Altia Technologie, an automotive subcontractor with sales of €105m and 1,100 employees, with regard to its restructuring, an investment from the FMEA, and the buyout of several companies.

    Bronx Parking Development Company, LLC: Represent the operator of the parking system servicing Yankee Stadium in connection with the restructuring of its roughly $237.5 million in tax-exempt bonds.

    Fiat, S.p.A: Represented the auto manufacturer in its $1.27 billion transaction to acquire an additional 16 percent stake in Chrysler.

    Keystone Automotive Holdings, Inc./Ad Hoc Committee of Bond Holders: Represented the Ad Hoc Committee, comprised of affiliates of Platinum Equity, LLC and Cetus Capital, LLC, in Keystone’s restructuring of more than $420M of senior indebtedness.

    Law Debenture Trust Company of New York: Represented the bank as indenture trustee, in the Visteon Corporation chapter 11 cases.

    Neef Group: Represented the Neef Group in its corporate and financial restructuring and subsequent sales of its business to VW and the remaining business to a private equity investor.

    Proliance International: Represented Silver Point Finance, LLC, a major prepetition secured lender, in Proliance International’s chapter 11 cases.

    Teksid: Represented TK Aluminum Ltd. and affiliated entities in an out-of-court restructuring involving multiple sale and restructuring transactions that were global in reach.

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Capital Markets and Finance

  • ATESTEO: Represented 3i-backed ATESTEO with respect to €70 million refinancing/recapitalization.

    Citibank, N.A./Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc.: Represented Citibank, N.A., in a $100 million warehouse credit facility for the origination of subprime auto loans by Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc. (CPS).

    Citigroup Global Markets Inc./Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc. (CPS): Advised Citigroup, acting as placement agent, on its closings of the following offerings secured by automobile receivables purchased by CPS, a specialty finance company that provides indirect automobile financing to vehicle purchasers with past credit problems, low incomes or limited credit histories, in the following offerings:

    • $119.4 million Rule 144A/Reg S offering of auto loan asset-backed notes issued by CPS Auto Receivables Trust 2011-C.
    • $155 million Rule 144A/Reg S offering of auto loan asset-backed securities issued by CPS Auto Receivables Trust 2012-A.
    • $100 million warehouse credit facility for the origination of subprime automotive loans by CPS.
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Government Relations

  • Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA): Counseled JAMA throughout 2010-11 on issues involving the Japanese auto industry’s responses to: (1) the U.S. “cash for clunkers” program and consistency of related congressional proposals with U.S. international trade obligations as a member of the WTO; (2) the bankruptcies of General Motors (GM) and Chrysler and the U.S. government bailout of GM, (3) foreign currency/exchange rate legislation, (4) global competition for “rare earth” minerals, and (5) the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement negotiations.

    Mazda North America Operations: Advised Mazda North America Operations on WTO consistency of legislation to provide federal funding for technology development by certain auto and parts manufacturers in the United States.

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Litigation

  • Yamaha Motor Corp.: Represented Yamaha in various litigation, including:

    • Yamaha Motor Company, Ltd. v. Bombardier, Inc.
    • Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A.: Defeated putative class action against client alleging breach of contract, breach of warranty, and Ohio statutory claims arising from certain recall notices.
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Mergers & Acquisitions, PE & VC Investments, Joint Ventures and Other Business Combinations

  • 3i/Hilite International: Advised 3i on its sale of  Hilite International Inc., a leading global supplier of highly engineered automotive engine and transmission components.

    3i/Hilite International: Advised 3i on its acquisition of a majority stake in Hilite International Inc., a global supplier, to Volkswagen, Daimler, General Motors, Chrysler, BMW and others, of automotive products that enhance fuel efficiency, transmission operation and emissions control.

    3i-Backed Hilite International/Cummins Inc.: Advised 3i-Backed Hilite International on the sale of its heavy duty emissions control business to Cummins Inc.

    3i/Global Transmission Testing Company: Represented 3i Group PLC in a €77 million investment in Global Transmission Testing Company, a leading international specialist in transmission testing.

    Acto Capital Funds/21 Centrale Partners: Advised Acto Capital on the sale of its stake in French mobile homes rental business Vacances Directes to 21 Centrale Partners.

    Aquiline Capital Partners/First Investors Financial Services Group: Represented Aquiline Capital Partners LLC in the $100 million acquisition of auto lender First Investors Financial Services Group, Inc.

    Dexter Axle Company/AL-KO VT: Represented Dexter Axle Company, a portfolio company of The Sterling Group, on its acquisition of AL-KO Vehicle Technology from AL-KO Kober SE.

    Europcar: Advised a strategic investor on the auction sale of Europcar, Europe's leading car rental company.

    Fiat S.p.A.: Represented the auto manufacturer in its $1.27 billion transaction to acquire an additional 16 percent stake in Chrysler.

    Macquarie Group/Advantage Funding:  Advised Macquarie Group Limited in its deal to acquire Advantage Funding Management Co., Inc., a  leading commercial vehicle finance firm, from Marubeni Group.

    PAI partners/Kwik-Fit Group Ltd.: Represented PAI partners in its $1 billion agreement to sell UK automotive repair company Kwik-Fit to Japanese trading house Itochu Corp.

    Renault S.A.: Advised leading French auto maker Renault S.A. on its Samurai bond issuance through a public offering in Japan valued at: ¥15.4 billion ($198 million).

    Seven Mile Capital Partners/Microporous Products: Represented Seven Mile Capital Partners in its acquisition of automotive battery separators producer Microporous Products from Polypore International Inc.

    United Auto Group: Represented United Auto Group, the world's second largest automotive dealership group, in various acquisitions and dispositions.

    Varroc Group/Visteon Corporation: Advised Aurangabad, India-based Varroc, a components supplier for two-, three- and four-wheel passenger and commercial vehicles, on its $92M cash acquisition of the automotive lighting business of Visteon, a Michigan-based global provider of automotive parts.

    Weber Hydraulik GmbH/Hyco International Inc.: Advised Weber, a Germany-based international provider of customized hydraulic drive and control engineering solutions, on its acquisition of U.S.-based Hyco from U.S. financial investor Centre Partners Management LLC.

    Westport/Fuel Systems Solutions: Represented Westport in its merger with Fuel Systems Solutions to create a premier alternative fuel vehicle and engine company.

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Other Significant Matters

  • Arcadia Financial Corp.: Represented the board of Minneapolis-based car-financing company Arcadia in various corporate governance matters.

    Bank of Nova Scotia/HOPPY Holdings, Inc.: Represented Bank of Nova Scotia as the lead agent in an $81 million syndicated loan to HOPPY, an ONCAP portfolio company that owns Hopkins Manufacturing, an automotive aftermarket products seller to 75,000+ distributors and retailers across the globe.

    Dale Earnhardt, Inc.: Provided senior executive and executive team representation for Dale Earnhardt, Inc.

    Feu Vert:  Represented Feu Vert, the European leader in automotive equipment and maintenance, and its majority shareholder, Qualium Investissement, in Feu Vert’s €250 million refinancing.

    PSA Finance: Represented the French State in connection with a matter before the European Commission regarding receiving approval to provide State aid to rescue the PSA group in the form of a temporary guarantee.

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