UK's Carclo acquires Czech LED lighting buisiness

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UK-based technical plastics specialist Carclo group is aiming to boost its business in the automotive lighting market with the takeover of a lighting design firm in the Czech Republic.

Osset, UK-based Carclo announced it has acquired FLTC (Europe) a.s., based at Ostrava in the Czech Republic, which focuses on designing LED lights for vehicles. The firm has become a significant supplier to Carclo’s British offshoot Wipac Ltd.

In the past three years, business with Buckingham, England-based Wipac, which produces car lighting, has grown and in 2016 accounted for around a third of FLTC’s total turnover of €1.82m.

The Czech deal worth €1.6m should enable Wipac to expand rapidly in both the low volume and mid volume prestige car markets, according to its parent group.

Carclo board expects the deal, completed on 30 March, to improve group profitability modestly in the first full year of ownership thanks to FLTC’s lower cost base against those of equivalent UK based design resources.

Wipac’s Buckingham production plant operates injection moulding machines from 100 – 500 tonnes in clamping force and offers two colour moulding capacity. It has automated lines for silicone hard-coating of lenses as well as painting and metallising facilities.

“The acquisition ... will add significant skills and capabilities to our Wipac business and will provide us with both an immediate step up in design capability and a base to further expand our design resources in the Czech Republic,” explained Carclo’s chief executive Chis Malley.

He also that having its new lighting design unit at the heart of the Czech automotive industry would put the group in a good position to grow its Wipac brand.

In January, confirmed that it is planning to transfer a part of its smaller LED Optics business manufacturing to the group’s Technical Plastics division operation located at Brno in the Czech Republic.

Carclo’s LED Technologies division, including the Wipac business, recorded strong growth last year with revenues increasing by 18.8% from £34.1m to £40.5m, the group reported.

Apart from optical component moulding, Carclo group also moulds fine tolerance plastic components for the electronics, medical and consumer industries, and makes control cable products for the aerospace sector.

Carclo has production operations in France, China, India and the USA as well as in the UK and the Czech Republic.

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