Asian company seeks acquisition targets



Malaysian manufacturer Asia File is on the acquisition trail after snapping up German rival Plastoreg Smidt in a €13.8 million (US$20 million) deal.
The Penang-based emerging giant is already close to snapping up a second European manufacturer, which OPI understands to be UK-based stationery manufacturer said to currently be in receivership.
And Asia File managing director SH Lim did not discount the possibility that it may seek a listing on a foreign bourse as it aggressively seeks to expand its revenues.
The company currently derives 70 percent of its sales from overseas and it is confident it can increase its turnover by 50 percent by 2009.
"We are targeting companies which can grow our turnover and those which do not carry our products," Lim told reporters after the company’s extraordinary general meeting in Malaysia last month.
Asia File is already a global player in the stationery industry and its products are exported to 80 countries worldwide. Lim said the acquisition of Plastoreg is due to be completed quickly.
Plastoreg makes and supplies a wide variety of dividers and indices and it is a sector market leader in Europe.


Lim’s senior management team has already drawn up plans to invest in one of Plastoreg’s two plants, located in Kirchgandern and Witzenhausen, Germany. Both factories boast state-of-the-art production facilities and are equipped with fully-automated machinery.
"Before the year is up, we plan to invest €3 million to expand the Kirchgandern plant," said Lim. It is understood some of the production activities in Germany will also be moved to Penang where Asia File has nearly 700 people on its payroll.
"We do not intend to reduce our headcount in Germany where 131 are now working for Plastoreg SG," he said.
Lim said the deal means wider coverage for Asia File’s existing products to various parts of Europe.
"We are expecting Plastoreg SG to contribute €25 million to group revenues next year," Lim said. Asia File earns revenues of approximately €145,000 a year now from exports to Western Europe.
"We are projecting a 50 percent increase of revenue for next year," he added, saying that another 50 per cent rise is expected in 2009.
Asia File was formed in 1987, it currently employs nearly 700 workers and has been listed on the Malaysian stock exchange since 1996.