The Cardone family may be out at the company that three generations of Cardones built into the world’s largest automotive remanufacturer. But the last Cardone to lead the company, Michael Cardone III, believes that the future is bright for Cardone Industries and its more than 5,000 employees as it is for remanufacturing, in general.
The reorganization of Cardone Industries is moving forward under its new majority owners, led by the global Toronto, Canada, based Brookfield Asset Management group.
Industry sources told Reman World that payment plans have been arranged to settle the outstanding balances with creditors, including a number of core suppliers, that at least partly precipitated the financial crisis leading up to the sale of the company last April.
But the company’s vast network of customers, suppliers and clients in the remanufacturing industry is generally in the dark about the changes at Cardone.
Requests by Reman World for comments or information from the company about the new leadership team, progress, plans, outlook, challenges and opportunities have so far elicited no response. This is reportedly not unusual for the turnaround specialists at the Brookfield subsidiary, the Bermuda based Brookfield Business Partners, who have taken over the day-to-day management of Cardone Industries. They are known to hold their cards close to the vest.
Even Cardone III, who along with his family still holds a 15% ownership share of the company, appears to be no longer privy to what is in the pipeline with the new management. Beyond telling Reman World that he believes in the future of the company, he declined to comment in any way on the financial crisis leading up to the sale of Cardone Industries or any other aspects of the sale and its aftermath.
It seems clear, however, that Brookfield was looking for opportunities in the promising automotive space at the time when the Cardone family was struggling with the implementation of plans to take the company to the next level as the world’s leading remanufacturer in the automotive aftermarket.
At about the same time that Brookfield Asset Management and its financial partners invested $435 million in recapitalization and 85% ownership of Cardone Industries, Brookfield with other financial backers completed a $13 billion acquisition of the automotive battery business of Ireland based Johnson Controls International PLC.
While declining to speculate about the strategy of the new management, Cardone III sees a bright future for remanufacturing in general and says that he hopes someday to get back into the field. He intends to stay engaged through MERA – The Association for Sustainable Manufacturing, of which his father and Cardone Industries co-founder, Michael Cardone Jr., was the founding chairman and Cardone III is a director.
“I love remanufacturing – the industry, the business, the people and the amazing sustainable way of extending lifecycles of things that were made great in the first place,” he said. “There are tons and tons of opportunities, not just in automotive remanufacturing, but anywhere from aerospace and industrial equipment to defense.”