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Cequent’s New Parent Company Examining Possible Acquisitions

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Horizon Global CEO Mark Zeffiro

In its first few hours as a public company last week, Horizon Global Corp., the new the parent company of Cequent, already was chasing several acquisitions.

Mark Zeffiro, president, CEO and co-chairman of the newly spun-off Horizon, told Crains Detroit that the new company could hold a secondary offering as early as the third quarter for acquisition capital.

Cequent is currently the only company under the Horizon Global umbrella.

Zeffiro was in New York last week to open the New York Stock Exchange and see Horizon open for trading, and said the company is looking for small manufacturers in various industries both here and abroad — but has an expansion focus on China and South America. And, he said, it is considering joint ventures with other companies.

“This is basically going to be a private-equity firm that trades as a public company,” said Sam Valenti III, the executive chairman at TriMas and co-chair with Zeffiro at Horizon.

“You want to add dry powder to the balance sheet,” he said of a secondary offering. “It gives you the flexibility to do big acquisitions. For now, we can fund acquisitions through cash flow.”

Zeffiro said current deals being looked at include several small family businesses and several that would be carve-outs from larger companies looking to generate cash.

He expects the company to close its first acquisition “in the next quarter or so.”

“The first bite of the apple could be a deal as small as $50 million. Deals at the opposite end could be triple that,” Zeffiro said. “What I like about the opportunity is these are fragmented and regional markets where we have the opportunity to deploy capital very efficiently.”

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