Irish sheet and film manufacturer Athlone Extrusions plc is seeking a suitable acquisition in mainland Europe to expand its product range and serve a growing continental market. "We are looking for a well-managed company in mainland Europe that can benefit from our marketing expertise," said Finance Director Enda Cunningham.
He added that the firm, based in Athlone, Ireland, could spend 25 million Irish punt ($30 million) on the right purchase.
The 6-year-old company wants to extend its product portfolio — which currently includes polystyrene, ABS and acrylic sheet — to include polyolefin sheet, Cunningham said.
Athlone Extrusions increasingly is serving European markets in the south and east, including Poland, Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic, from its single plant in Athlone. Capacity there gradually has grown from just eight extrusion lines in 1996 to 13 today, primarily World Standard, Bandera and Welex machines.
This year, Athlone is committed to investing about 2.5 million Irish punt ($3 million), including the addition of another two Bandera lines, Cunningham said.
His company, which has offices in Birmingham, England, and Tilburg, the Netherlands, has seen its manufacturing throughput grow rapidly from 2.6 million pounds in 1994 to the present total of nearly 20 million pounds. Key markets include bathware and tractor cab roofs.
The company went public in February 1998 on the Dublin and London stock exchanges. Last year the company reported pretax profit of 5.5 million euros ($5.7 million) on sales of 37 million euros ($39 million).