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Lear: Activist Investor Resurfaces With New Demands

Lear (LEA) has Marcato Capital knocking on its door, again. Marcato, the $3bn activist hedge fund run by Bill Ackman pupil Mick McGuire, has been an activist investor at Lear since Feb. 2013.

Lear is a supplier of auto seating and electric power systems for cars. It's really two very different businesses, with seating making up 75% of revenues and electric systems accounting for the rest. The seating business includes seats for vehicles - i.e. frames, tracks, covers. Major customers include General Motors (GM) and Ford (F). Together, along with BMW, the three account for about 55% of Lear's sales - granted the switching costs in the business are high.

Since coming out of bankruptcy in late 2009, shares are up 280% - compared to the S&P 500's return of 88%. This nice run has been supported by rising auto demand. Revenues have gone from less than $10bn in 2009… Read More …