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NEED TO SELL?

Android Industries LLC, which designs and assembles systems and parts for automobiles, was acquired by Wynnchurch Capital in 2004 for an undisclosed amount. So, time to sell the Auburn Hills, Mich.-based company?

Wynnchurch, known for taking on turnarounds and other complex situations, believed the company was positioned for “significant growth” given its business model, which is geared toward helping auto-makers lower costs, reduce inventories and increase manufacturing flexibility, according to the firm’s Web site. The company, which designs and builds its own manufacturing equipment, manufactures modules used in engines, suspension systems, axles, and instrument panel modules, among other products.   

It’s unclear why Wynnchurch has held onto the company for eight years, and executives at the firm did not return requests for comment. However, it’s likely that the financial downturn in 2008 hurt business, as it did with many companies in the automotive sector, and that Wynnchurch has been waiting for it to recover sufficiently.

If so, Wynnchurch may have played its cards right in waiting. As Buyouts reported in its Oct. 30 issue, private equity interest in auto-related companies is on the rise, with firms such as American Securities, The Carlyle Group and TPG Capital either looking to get a foothold in the industry or extend their exposure to it amid signs of a rebound. From January through September, North American companies produced more than 11.9 million vehicles, an almost 20 percent increase over the more than 9.9 million produced in the same period in 2011, Buyouts reported.

Android Industries’s survival of the financial crisis implies a fundamental strength in its business, considering so many auto-related companies failed. If the company can show potential suitors that it not only survived the downturned but came out of it a better company, it and Wynnchurch should have an easy time finding a new owner.