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Florida firm takes majority ownership in Remy

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A Florida title insurer and mortgage service has acquired majority ownership of Pendleton-based auto-parts manufacturer Remy International Inc.

Fidelity National Financial Inc., which is headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., purchased 1.18 million additional shares of Remy last week.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Fidelity increased its stake in Remy from 47 percent to to 50.2 percent.

“We continuously pursue avenues to unlock the value of Remy for FNF shareholders,” Fidelity CEO George Scanlon said in a prepared statement. “Given the current market valuation, we believe our shareholders are best served by ... taking a majority ownership position to best control the future of our investment.”

Fidelity officials did not return phone calls seeking comment on the deal.

Eric Struik, Remy’s vice president of finance, said Monday the company does not expect any operational or management changes to result from the Fidelity deal.

“From our perspective,” Struik said, “we really don’t feel like there will be much to change in terms of our day-to-day work.”

Fidelity, in its announcement, described the acquisition as a way to boost investments while improving transparency. The company will begin reporting Remy’s quarterly earnings as a distinct segment of the financial company.

Fidelity reported $147 million in earnings on $1.74 billion in revenue for the second quarter, which ended June 30.

Remy, a privately held company that had been considering an initial public offering, had earnings of $17.4 million and revenue of $294.8 million in the same quarter.

Remy produces starters, alternators and hybrid motors for light- and heavy-duty vehicles. The company also remanufactures starters and alternators.

Fidelity acquired its initial stake in Remy in 2007, when the auto supplier emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

The manufacturer—once a division of General Motors Corp. that was spun off in 1994 as Delco Remy before adopting its current name in 2004—registered with the Securities Exchange Commission in March 2011.

The filing was a first step toward an IPO, which has not materialized.

“The markets haven’t been very good for IPOs,” Struik said. “As a result, we had some discussions with the board and kind of went back and forth, and we decided not to [do an IPO]. But that remains an option for us.”

Fidelity has been on a buying spree to diversify its assets.

The company is negotiating a $78 million purchase of restaurant chain J. Alexander’s Corp. The eateries would merge with Fidelity-owned Blue Ribbon Holdings LLC. The subsidiary’s chains include O’Charley’s, Max & Erma’s, Bakers Square, Ninety Nine Restaurant, Village Inn and Stoney River Legendary Steaks.

Fidelity also owns 33 percent of human resources service provider Ceridian Corp.

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