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Platinum Equity Mulls Sale Of Keystone Auto

Target: Keystone Automotive Operations

Price: $400 million to $500 million

Sponsor: Platinum Equity

Financial Advisers: Baird, UBS

Platinum Equity, which acquired Keystone through an out-of-court debt restructuring in 2011, has hired investment banks Baird and UBS to run a sale process that could fetch between $400 million and $500 million, the sources said.

Representatives for Platinum, Keystone, UBS and Baird were not immediately reached for comment. The sources declined to be named because the matter is not public.

Exeter, Pa.-based Keystone sells aftermarket automotive equipment and accessories in North America, such as light truck accessories, specialty wheels, tires and suspension parts and high performance products. Keystone changed hands among private equity owners a few times over the past decade. Private equity firm Bain Capital LLC bought Keystone in 2003 from investors led by buyout firm Advent International for about $440 million.

But the company, which makes discretionary items tied to the economic cycles, grappled with the recession in the following years and Bain’s equity was wiped out when Keystone agreed to an out-of-court restructuring in 2011. Platinum Equity, one of the company’s bondholders, acquired a majority interest in Keystone by converting its debt to equity.

Soyoung Kim and Greg Roumeliotis are correspondents for Reuters in New York.