LONDON - LucasVarity plc has acquired the 66 percent of voting shares in Brazilian brakes manufacturer Freios Varga that it did not already own.
Varga had been a joint-venture partner of Lucas Industries since 1969.
Varga supplies General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and Daimler-Benz. The takeover makes LucasVarity the largest manufacturer of brake systems in South America.
Varga had sales of $243 million in the nine months to 30 September 1997, and pretax profits of $18 million. LucasVarity paid $115 million for the shares.
Varga makes light and heavy vehicle brake components, including ABS, calipers, rotors, drum brakes, corner modules, boosters and brake fluid.
Early in the next decade Varga is expected to have 40 percent of the Brazilian brake market, said Steve Lunn, managing director of the LucasVarity Light Vehicle Braking Systems division. Varga will be incorporated into his division.
By 2000, about one third of Varga's output will be exported, said Lunn.
'The acquisition fits excellently with our strategy of focusing our resources on securing and sustaining leadership positions in those markets which offer attractive growth prospects,' said LucasVarity Chief Executive Victor Rice.
Varga has 2,500 employees, and has plants and technical centers in Brazil, Argentina and the USA.