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Toledo Molding & Die plants to stay open, new owner says

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Toledo Molding & Die’s plants — including those in Bowling Green, Tiffin, and Delphos — are expected to remain running as part of its German-based acquirer’s plan to more deeply ingrain itself into the North American market.  

Grammer AG, which is based about 45 miles west of Nuremberg, announced on May 22 that it reached a tentative deal to purchase Toledo Molding & Die for $271 million. On Thursday, Ralf Hoppe, Grammer’s vice president of investor relations, told The Blade via email that one of the key reasons Grammer was interested in the Toledo-based company was its network of U.S. plants.

“TMD has a very broad manufacturing footprint, covering all major automotive regions in NAFTA,” Mr. Hoppe said. “We plan to continue operations in all facilities that are part of the transaction scope and also use the available manufacturing capacities of TMD for new Grammer projects in the NAFTA region.”

Toledo Molding & Die specializes in plastic automotive interior components, operating 10 facilities across Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and North Carolina. TMD also has a plant in central Mexico. The company’s corporate headquarters is on Coining Drive.

About 1,000 of its 1,600 employees work in northwest Ohio.

“This acquisition represents a great opportunity for TMD and all of its stakeholders,” Toledo Molding & Die president Steve Ciucci said in a prepared statement. “Not only will TMD be able to leverage Grammer’s global footprint, Grammer brings an expanded product and customer portfolio. Similarly, TMD offers Grammer a greater presence in North America as well as growth opportunities from additional products and a wider customer base.”

Figures provided by Grammer show Toledo Molding & Die had annual revenues of about $300 million last year, all of which came from within North America. About 70 percent of Toledo Molding & Die’s sales are directly to automakers, including Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Honda, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

The firm’s work with FCA includes making parts for both the Toledo-built Jeep Wrangler and the Jeep Cherokee, which is now assembled in Belvidere, Ill. TMD opened a new plant just across the Illinois border in in Beloit, Wis., two years ago after production of the Cherokee moved there from Toledo.

For Grammer, adding TMD’s business would more than double its annual sales in North America to a combined $550 million. In 2017, Grammer reported total sales of about $2.1 billion.

“The acquisition of TMD is a perfect fit in terms of expansion of our technology and process know-how and expansion of our presence in North America,” Mr. Hoppe said. “In addition, TMD has excellent distribution structures and development partnerships with the Big Three U.S. car [Original Equipment Manufacturers] as well as Asian OEMs based in the U.S. This will allow Grammer to additionally broaden its customer base.”

Toledo Molding & Die was founded in 1955. In 2011, the company was purchased by Industrial Opportunity Partners, an Illinois-based private equity firm.

“On behalf of TMD and [Industrial Opportunity Partners], we are truly excited for the combination of the technical and product capabilities of Grammer and TMD,” IOP director Kyle Hood said in a statement. “We believe Grammer’s global expertise and long-term vision will foster substantial growth, continued technological advancement, and further opportunities for TMD and its employees.”

The sale, which must still win antitrust approval, is expected to close in the third quarter. 

Contact Tyrel Linkhorn at tlinkhorn@theblade.com419-724-6134, or on Twitter @TyrelLinkhorn.

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