Kolkata-based Pawan Ruia Group is on an acquisition drive, striking its fourth deal in less than a year. The group has struck twin deals in the automotive rubber sealings business by acquiring Germany-based Meteor Gummiwerke and Turkish company Standard Profil AS for an undisclosed sum.

The Turkish firm is acquired from a consortium of private investors, led by Bancroft Private Equity – a PE firm investing in Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey.

The latest deals will add to the group’s manufacturing capabilities, especially in Europe.

Meteor has three facilities in Germany, besides one in the Czech Republic and two units in the USA. Standard Profil has manufacturing locations in Turkey, Bulgaria, South Africa and China, and has a fast growing, tier-one rubber profile and weather-strip producer for global automotive OEMs. It had revenues of €180 million ($258 million) in 2010. The transaction is subject to standard antitrust approvals and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2011.

Pawan Ruia, chairman of the Ruia Group said, “We are very excited to have signed a deal to acquire such a rapidly growing company. This acquisition is in line with the Ruia Group’s strategy to consolidate the automotive sealing industry and its plan to emerge as a global leader in the automotive ancillary industry.”

“My management team and I are very excited to continue the successful growth of our sealing business under the umbrella of the Ruia Group and expand the services for our customers into new regions,” said Andreas Engel, CEO of Standard Profil.

Inorganic Growth Strategy

Pawan Ruia, the man who has acquired distressed local assets like Dunlop India and railway wagon manufacturer Jessop & Co in the past one decade, has been quietly building the group’s presence in Europe over the past three years.

He has followed the same strategy of buying assets of bankrupt firms or companies with stressed balance sheets, but just moved geographies, and instead of striking local deals, has started acquiring abroad.

The Ruia Group, which has interests in infrastructure equipment, automotive ancillaries and tyres, acquired the assets of two companies in Germany over the past one year, even as it lost out in the race for South Korean automotive group SsaangYong Motors, finally acquired by M&M.

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 automotive fasteners maker Acument from 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 deals in its kitty, the group is close to the $1 billion annual revenues mark.

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