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Spain's Grupo Maier buys stake in Italian auto firm

By: Richard Higgs

September 17, 2012

AJANGIZ, SPAIN (Sept. 17, 8:35 a.m. ET) — Spanish auto component injection molder Grupo Maier has extended its production into southern Europe with the purchase of a 50 percent stake in Italian parts molder and finisher Cromoplastica International.

The deal allows Basque Country-based Grupo Maier the option of acquiring the remaining capital of the plastic parts chrome plating specialist at a later date.

The Italian firm, now renamed Maier Cromoplastica, has two plants: the main injection molding and galvanising unit in Verdellino and a second, with another chrome galvanizing line, in nearby Ciserano.

Founded in 1976, Cromoplastica is based in Verdellino, close to Bérgamo in northern Italy. In 2011, the firm recorded annual sales of 31 million euros ($40 million), and employs 250.

The investment will enable the Spanish group to improve service of its customers in central Europe and is in line with its strategy of leadership and innovation in the field of component decoration. In addition, the expansion strengthens the internationalization of its operations, said Grupo Maier which has its headquarters in Ajangiz, Spain.

The Spanish company operates five production plants. They include three in Spain – one at Ajangiz in the Guernica region; others in Iraizotz in Navarre and the offshoot Maier Ferroplast in Pontevedra, Galicia province. Abroad, it has plants at Attwood, UK and at Prostejov in the Czech Republic. In addition Maier has strategic alliance businesses in Turkey, Japan and India.

It was earlier this year that Maier, part of Spain’s big industrial cooperative group Corporación Mondragon, agreed to form a joint venture business, Alpha Maier Pvt in India with the Indian industrial company UM Group.