Canadian Manufacturing

Magna boss says company ‘actively looking’ for acquisitions

Don Walker noted company not looking to expand into new product categories; will focus on areas where it anticipates future growth



TORONTO—Auto parts maker Magna International Inc. is actively looking for new acquisitions, with both smaller bolt-on acquisitions and larger transformational ones a possibility, CEO Don Walker said.

“We are quite actively looking. We just want to make sure we don’t do anything for the sake of doing it,” Walker said during an auto industry conference.

“We want to make sure it’s the right thing to do.”

However, Walker noted that Magna is not looking to expand into new product categories.

Instead, the manufacturer would like to focus on a few key areas where it anticipates future growth.

“We’re the most diversified supplier in the world,” Walker said.

“I don’t think that’s a good thing or a bad thing but we have been looking at every one of our product areas. We want to make sure we’re going to be among the best as far as technology. And we’re also trying to align ourselves with areas of the vehicle that will be positively impacted by what we see as the technologies of the cars of the future.”

Magna also released its 2015 outlook this week, predicting between US$34.4- and US$36.1 billion in sales this year.

That’s lower than the US$36.3 billion of annual revenue, including about US$9 billion in the fourth quarter, that Magna is expected to report for 2014, according to of survey of analysts compiled by Thomson Reuters.

The company has not yet released its fourth-quarter and year-end results.

The Canadian-based auto parts company said its North American sales are expected to decline slightly in 2015, partly due to softening in the Canadian dollar compared with the greenback.

The company predicts sales will also be hurt by the fact that FCA US LLC’s Windsor, Ont., assembly plant will be shut down for an extended period in 2015 as the automaker retools in preparation for a new minivan.

“It will be good for us in the long term but we’re going to see some sales dip in the first half of the year,” Walker said.

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