August 17, 2018 / 10:53 PM / a year ago

Mexico's Grupo Industrial Saltillo eyes auto parts expansion in Europe

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican conglomerate Grupo Industrial Saltillo SAB de CV (GISSAA.MX) is considering more acquisitions in Europe to expand its auto parts division, its top executive told Reuters.

Chief Executive Jose Manuel Arana said in an interview this week that GIS hoped to build on its recent expansion on the continent.

GIS acquired auto parts companies Automotive Components Europe in 2015 for $80 million and Spain-based Grupo Infun a year later for 280 million euros.

“Our intention is ... to continue analyzing global growth in 2019,” Arana said.

GIS has said North America will continue to be important for its auto parts division, even if rules are changed under an updated North American Free Trade Agreement.

“Regardless of what happens, Mexico’s competitive position will continue,” Arana said, adding that the company still wants to diversify revenues.

GIS’ auto parts unit accounts for about 64 percent of the company’s total sales, while its ceramic tile and water heater business accounts for 28 percent and housewares 8 percent, said Ricardo Sandoval, director of institutional relations.

In China, the company will focus on organic growth, while in Europe more companies could be acquired, Arana said.

Reporting by Skeky Espejo; Editing by Tom Brown

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