Pawan K. Ruia is a man in a hurry. In the third deal within a week (and fifth in less than a year) he has acquired French automotive sealing company, Sealynx Automotive, for an undisclosed sum – strengthening his European operations and especially boosting the group’s global presence in the automotive sealing business.
Sealynx Automotive, with manufacturing facilities in France, Romania, Morocco and Tunisia, employs 981 people and posted revenues of €68 million in 2010. It supplies to car makers such as Renault and Peugeot-Citroen, besides Romanian auto manufacturer Dacia.
The company had witnessed financial crunch after the credit crisis and economic recession hit the West three years ago. In December, 2010, a commercial court had appointed an administrator to run the company. Following the acquisition, the company has been renamed Ruia Sealynx SAS.
The acquisition is in line with the Kolkata-based group’s inorganic growth strategy, targeting distressed assets in India and abroad.
Pawan Ruia, the man who has acquired distressed local assets like Dunlop India and railway wagon manufacturer Jessop & Co in the past one decade, had earlier lost out in the race for South Korean automotive group SsaangYong Motor. But the Ruia Group, which has interests in infrastructure equipment, automotive ancillaries and tyres, has been aggressive in acquiring automotive ancillary firms.
The group has been especially bullish on the sealant business and snapping assets in Europe. Last week, in a twin deal in the automotive rubber sealing business, it acquired Germany-based Meteor Gummiwerke and Turkish company Standard Profil AS for an undisclosed sum. The Turkish firm was acquired from a consortium of private investors, led by Bancroft Private Equity – a PE firm investing in Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey.
Last August, it acquired the operating assets of Gumasol-Werke Dr Mayer GmbH & Co. KG, a specialist in elastomer technology and products. And in February this year, it snapped up automotive fastener-maker Acument from the bankrupt firm Acument Global Technologies Inc.
These moves came after the group had struck two deals during the slowdown years of 2008 and 2009 in the same automotive sealing business. It acquired the assets of Germany’s Henniges Automotive Grefrath and renamed it as Draftex, and snapped the UK-based Schlegel Automotive that makes sealing systems for auto brands such as Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Honda, Jaguar and Aston Martin.
With the recent deals in its kitty, the group is estimated to be close to the $1 billion annual revenues mark.