Magna International Inc. acquired Caradon Rolinx plc Dec. 6 for C$44.4 million (US$32.9 million), strengthening Magna's European plastic automotive bumper molding business. Caradon's two plants are in Banbury and Swindon, England. Its sales last year of molded and painted bumpers were about C$175 million (US$129.5 million), according to Magna officials. It was a subsidiary of Caradon plc of London, a conglomerate with building products operations. Magna officials did not disclose molding machinery details for the acquired operations.
Magna's other European bumper molding operation is the former Pebra GmbH Paul Braun business in Germany which it acquired earlier this year, Graham Orr, Magna's executive vice president of corporate development, said in a telephone interview from his firm's head office in Markham, Ontario.
Magna's Decoma International Inc. division has four bumper molding operations in North America, including two plants in its Conix joint venture with Ford Motor Co. It also operates a bumper painting facility and a tool and die shop dedicated to bumpers. Orr said Decoma is the largest independent bumper supplier in North America.
Magna does not plan to invest a lot of capital in the newly
bought United Kingdom plants, but it will try to increase their workload because they are barely breaking even, according to Orr. The U.K. facilities' main customer is Rover Group plc, which already is a major Magna customer. Other Caradon Rolinx customers include AB Volvo and Honda Motor Co. Ltd.
Orr said it was too early to speculate whether his firm would close one of the U.K. plants. Late summer rumors suggested Magna was negotiating to buy Caradon Rolinx, but officials at the time would not comment on the reports.
Orr said Magna may set up operations in South America, but he could provide no details. Chief Executive Officer Don Walker recently told analysts the company is looking for partners to supply a growing number of assembly plants in South America.
Magna reported sales of C$1.8 billion (US$1.3 billion) for the three months ended Oct. 31, up about 38 percent from a year earlier. Profit was C$104.8 million (US$77.6 million), a 43 percent increase.