Arvin merger a ‘disaster,’ ‘mistake,’ experts say

Both Arvin Industries Inc. and its headquarters city of Columbus have suffered from the company’s 2000 merger with fellow auto parts supplier Meritor Automotive Inc., of Troy, Mich.

Instead of keeping a sharp focus on its niche in exhaust and suspension parts, Arvin under the so-called merger of equals lost not only its way, but also its resources, according to The Republic of Columbus.

“I believe the merger … was a mistake for Meritor and a disaster for both Arvin and Columbus,” said the former president of Columbus Economic Development Board, Brooke Tuttle.

The combined ArvinMeritor Inc. hasn’t produced the solid profit margins Arvin generated before the merger.

Chairman, CEO and President Bill Hunt, who started an Indianapolis venture capital firm with the $12.4 million in severance he received in 2001 from the combined company, did not respond to requests by the newspaper to be interviewed for the article.

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