Ruia Group acquires British auto component firm

July 10th, 2008 - 2:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 10 (IANS) The Kolkata-based Ruia Group, which has a controlling interest in tyre maker Dunlop India, has acquired British auto component manufacturer Schlegel Automotive Europe, according to group chairman Pawan Kumar Ruia. He, however, did not disclose the amount invested for the acquisition, but said it comprised a $12-million bank loan and internal accruals.

“Keeping in mind the growing demand in the automotive sector, we are planning to set up a Schlegel manufacturing unit in India. We will invest $15 million for expansion in India,” Ruia said here Wednesday.

Schlegel will part-fund this investment, he said. The Indian arm, called Schlegel Automotive India Pvt. Ltd, will be a 100 percent subsidiary of Schlegel Europe.

“We plan to set up one mother plant in India, where mixing and extrusion work will be carried out and the finishing lines can be done at various units situated near the customer bases,” said Schlegel Europe managing director of global operations David Boynton.

While the location has not been finalised, Boynton said production would begin within a year.

Production capacity and product line would also be expanded at the UK unit on an investment of $6-7 million, Ruia said.

Ruia acquired Schlegel through Global Finvest Ltd, a Ruia-owned special purpose vehicle based in the UK.

Schlegel, which has assets worth $30 million, supplies rubber sealings to auto majors such as BMW, Bentley, Toyota, Honda, Ford, Mitsubishi, Renault and Opel.

The Ruia Group ventured into the tyre industries in 2005 with the acquisition of Dunlop and Falcon Tyres.

In 2007, it acquired the Mumbai-based Monotona Tyres and Industronics in Malaysia.

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