Spanish investment concern Inssec is set to acquire Cie Automotive, the country's biggest automotive parts maker, after winning majority shareholder approval for its €307.8 million takeover bid.

Inssec's bid offers €13.5 per share and is conditional on it winning 55% of Cie's capital.

The company, Cie's largest investor with a 36.5% stake, said investors holding another 32% of the company's shares have accepted the offer.

Inssec made the announcement in a statement filed with Spanish Stock Market regulator Comision Nacional de Valores (CNMV).

Cie's top investors include local rivals Gestamp and Antolin, as well as other industrial groups Torreal, Elidoza Promocion de Empresas and Betonica 95.

Only one big shareholder, Inversiones Ibersuizas, rejected the offer. The investment firm, which owns a 10% stake, is reportedly interested in retaining its investment to benefit from Cie's "major growth potential." However, Ibersuizas said Inssec's offer will bring "stability and support" to the parts firm.

Bilbao-based Cie owns 30 company divisions. Fuelled by an aggressive international expansion, it expects sales to rise 10% in 2005 to €820 million and operating profits to increase 20% to an undisclosed sum. It also plans to invest €65 million in its business this year.

Cie intends to double its presence in the Czech Republic by building a third factory this year and a fourth one that will be ready in 2006. The firm will also hopes to expand in Mexico and Brasil, this year, according to statements on its website.

Cie employs 6,000 workers of which 37% are located abroad.

Cie's shares rose over 6% to €13.5 in Madrid on Wednesday, matching the bid's price, after the CNMV lifted a trading hold on its stock.

Ivan Castano