Wagon opens doors to French parts business

Automotive sub-assemblies company Wagon has snapped up the remaining 80% of French components group Aries Structures in a deal that makes it the leading UK supplier of metal parts to European car manufacturers. The Birmingham-based group paid £77m for the outstanding stake in Aries it did not already own. Nick Brayshaw, Wagon’s chief executive, said […]

Automotive sub-assemblies company Wagon has snapped up the remaining 80% of French components group Aries Structures in a deal that makes it the leading UK supplier of metal parts to European car manufacturers.

The Birmingham-based group paid £77m for the outstanding stake in Aries it did not already own.

Nick Brayshaw, Wagon’s chief executive, said the acquisition would result in extra work for its Midland pressings plants.

The deal is being funded by a £149.5m borrowing facility from the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Wagon’s turnover has tripled over the past two years through both organic and acquisitive growth.

The purchase of Aries adds Renault to Wagon’s burgeoning customer list.

The French car maker will account for annual sales of about £70m, closely followed by Volkswagen at about £60m a year. Ford accounts for over £27m of sales with Rover, once the company’s biggest customer, in fourth place.

Aries made profits of £6.8m last year and operates from seven manufacturing sites in France and one in Italy. Wagon initially bought 20% of the company last year with an option to take full control within 12 months.

Brayshaw said the business would be integrated completely with Wagon’s other businesses.

`As a result of this deal we will become the leading maker of door systems and a significant supplier of door structures, with key operations in France, the UK and Germany,’ said Brayshaw.

`It is very complementary to our existing automotive supplies business and will support the operations we have in Belgium, the Czech Republic and Italy,’ he added.