GST AutoLeather, a manufacturer with seven plants in Mexico, exits bankruptcy

GST AutoLeather, a manufacturer with seven plants in Mexico, exits bankruptcy

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GST AutoLeather, a global manufacturer of automotive leather components with seven plants in Mexico, announced it has exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy under new ownership.

To lead the transition, GST has named Randy Johnson President and CEO, along with the addition of two key leather industry experts, Bryn Kahrl as Vice President of Global Operations and Scott Landis as Chief Human Resources Officer.

"We are committed to being the most competitive, innovative, and sought-after supplier to major OEMs worldwide, leveraging our strong customer service, a renewed focus on lean manufacturing and standardization, and care for our employees as we instill a customer and operationally focused leadership culture," said Johnson, who most recently served as CEO of Romeo RIM, Inc. a Michigan-based composites manufacturer. 

Prior to that, Johnson served as Vice President of Global Operations at Eagle Ottawa for 12 years, leaving in 2014 before its sale to Lear Corporation. At Eagle Ottawa, Mr. Johnson was the architect of the operational transformation resulting in years of best-in-class competitive performance and a stable world class manufacturing team.

Post Chapter 11 exit, GST is now majority owned by funds managed by Black Diamond Capital Management, L.L.C. (BDCM), which has a track record of assisting companies in growing value by focusing on operational and commercial improvements through a disciplined long-term approach. 

"We are looking forward to supporting GST's future efforts to build upon its strong global market share with a keen focus on providing top customer service while enhancing its operations," said Stephen H. Deckoff, Managing Principal of BDCM.

"GST has exited bankruptcy with a strong balance sheet and ample liquidity, talented leaders globally, and a reputation as a high-quality leather designer and manufacturer," Johnson said, adding, "GST is among a small group of leather suppliers that can be considered truly global in nature."

The company employs around 3,000 workers at seven production facilities in Mexico, three are located in Arteaga, Coahuila; one in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas and three other in Leon, Guanajuato.


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