Carclo Engineering Group plc wants to build on its first acquisition in North America with a fresh U.S. purchase before the end of 1999.
The Sheffield, England-based manufacturer is talking to several potential takeover targets in the United States, according to spokesman Nick Parker.
Carclo Technical Plastics, the company's injection molding division, bought Carrera Corp. of Latrobe, Pa., in April for $25 million.
Parker said Carrera has given CTP ``better than anticipated'' opportunities to improve customer service on either side of the Atlantic.
Carclo also is looking closer to home, with plans to expand its specialized plastics molding operations in mainland Europe, said Peter Young, CTP's chief executive officer.
In addition to Carrera, CTP has made two other important acquisitions in plastics molding: Wipac Ltd. of Droitwich, England, in May 1998; and Combined Optical Industries Ltd. of Slough, England, in December.
Today, CTP comprises 10 molding companies in the United Kingdom. Its 345 injection presses have clamping forces of 20-650 tons.
``We are aiming at a policy that says we like to have an average machine ... up to 5 years old,'' Young said, which means installing about 30 new presses per year across the division.
Carclo, which just reported its results for the year ended March 31, continues to reorganize, moving more toward plastics molding and away from its reliance on wire, textile and steel products.
Company sales fell more than 8 percent, from £177 million ($278 million) to £162 million ($254 million). CEO Ian Williamson blamed the strength of the pound, costs linked with a pullout from wire markets and lower volumes to the textile industry.