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Wynn's Sells Auto Products Unit in Restructure Move

September 06, 1986|JEFF ROWE

Wynn's International Inc. said it sold its automotive products unit for $17.1 million in cash to an investor group headed by Donald P. Hagel, the former president of the unit, and Charles Butcher, chairman of Butcher Polish Co. of Boulder, Colo.

Fullerton-based Wynn's said the sale is part of an "ongoing restructuring" of its business, a process that began in 1980 when it sold Bell Helmets Inc., a maker of motor sport helmets, and Riddell Inc., a maker of football helmets. In 1982, the company sold its custom auto-wheel subsidiary, Cragar Industries Inc.

Wynn's Automotive Products, which is based in Longmont, Colo., makes convertible tops, front-end covers for cars, seat covers and tire carriers. It accounted for $29.4 million of Wynn's International's total sales of $236.5 million in 1985, the company said.

Last November, Wynn's International acquired Precision Rubber Products Corp., a Lebanon, Tenn.-based maker of rubber seals, for $31 million in cash and 70,000 shares of Wynn's common stock.

In restructuring its business, Wynn's said it wanted to concentrate on those areas of the automotive business with the greatest potential for growth and profit. The sale of the automotive products unit substantially completes the restructuring, a spokesman said.

For the first half of 1986, the parent company reported net income of $3.2 million, compared to net income of $2.4 million for the same period a year earlier. However, the company had a net loss of almost $2 million in 1985, in part because of write-offs related to the acquisition of Precision and also because of write-offs of outdated inventory.

Earlier this year, Wynn's International obtained a $40-million financing package from Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. in order to restructure its debt.

Separately, Wynn's said an agreement to purchase $4 million in convertible notes from Zemco Group Inc., a San Francisco Bay Area maker of electronic automotive products such as cruise controls, has been canceled. Under terms of the agreement, Wynn's eventually would have been able to acquire a 90% stake in Zemco.

Jeff Rowe is a free-lance writer.

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