Altran buys IndustrieHansa, eyes more purchases

PARIS Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:33am EST

PARIS Dec 21 (Reuters) - French engineering consultancy Altran said it could make another acquisition in 2013 as it unveiled the purchase of German car engineering specialist IndustrieHansa on Friday.

Altran, which said the takeover of the Munich-based company would make Germany its second market after France, said it could sign another deal next year as discussions continue with three targets.

"We still have discussions with three targets, one in the UK, one in our PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) solutions and one in India," Altran Chief Executive Philippe Salle told a conference call.

"We will see if we can perhaps strike another one in the course of 2013."

Founded 35 years ago, IndustrieHansa, which employs 1,800 people, specialises in the car, aeronautics and energy sectors and has contracts with Audi, BMW and Daimler .

Its 2012 sales are expected to reach 155 million euros ($205 million) while it has an EBIT margin of around 10 percent, Salle said.

"This acquisition seems relevant to us as it allows Altran to become the fifth outsourced R&D player in Germany - versus 11th before - and this country is essential given the weight of its industry," Gilbert Dupont analysts wrote in a note.

Shares in Altran were up 3.2 percent at 1115 GMT, the biggest riser on France's broad SBF120 index. They have doubled this year, giving the company a market value of 823 million euros.

The IndustrieHansa deal, which will be financed by a credit line of 150 million euros for acquisitions, will boost Altran's earnings per share as of the first year, it said.

In June, Philippe Salle told Reuters Altran was looking for acquisitions outside southern Europe to help boost sales to more than 2 billion euros in 2015, compared with 1.4 billion in 2011, as part of a strategic plan. ($1 = 0.7555 euros) (Reporting by Alice Cannet)