Ruia Group eyes European rubber sealing firm for takeover

March 19th, 2009 - 3:55 pm ICT by IANS  

By Aparajita Gupta
Kolkata, March 19 (IANS) The city-based Ruia Group is planning to acquire another European rubber sealing systems company and its chairman Pawan Kumar Ruia is in Europe to ink the deal, industry and banking sources familiar with the development said Thursday.

“The Ruia group has identified its next takeover target. This company is also into rubber sealing systems in Germany,” said one source, who was involved in a similar takeover deal last year, requesting anonymity.

“The negotiations are in the final stages and bankers expect the deal to be concluded in a few days. In fact, the group’s chairman is in Europe to finalise the deal,” the source told IANS.

When contacted, the spokesperson for the Ruia group declined comment on the specific deal, but said that overseas acquisitions and global consolidation were part of the group’s strategy in the automotive sealing business.

“Acquisitions have made a significant contribution to the growth of our group. Even at this moment, we are discussing several proposals for acquisition,” the spokesperson told IANS.

The Ruia group, which is among the largest tyre manufacturers in the country, entered the rubber sealing business through its acquisition of British auto component maker Schlegel Automotive Europe last year.

The fresh takeovers are planned to consolidate this business globally.

Schlegel supplies components to global automobile majors like BMW, the Tatas-led Jaguar, Aston Martin, Nissan, Toyota and Honda. The Ruias hope that Schlegel, formerly called Metzeler Automotive Profile Systems UK, would break-even by the end of this fiscal.

Besides tyres, the Ruias have interest in a wide range of rubber products, including tubes, conveyor belts, a variety of industrial hoses and automotive sealing systems.

The group had ventured into the tyre business in 2005 with the acquisition of Dunlop India and Falcon Tyres. In 2007, it bought Monotona Tyres at Mumbai and entered high-tech electronics business with the acquisition of Industronics in Malaysia.

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