Spanish auto parts manufacturer Cie Automotive has bought a 51% stake in China's Sandun for EUR5.2m as it continues to expand in the country.

Sandun makes instrument panels and other plastic interior parts for Chinese manufacturers such as Chery and Geely. It also supplies General Motors, Volkswagen, Audi, Nissan, Visteon and Magna.

"With this acquisition Cie has established a base to develop its business in China and grow in other [parts] technologies," Cie´s chief executive Ignacio Martin said in a statement.

The announcement comes as Basque Country-based Cie is pursuing aggressive expansion in emerging markets where it now derives 33% of revenues.

Cie already makes automobile components in China through its Shanghai Cie Automotive Parts subsidiary.

The company expects to obtain regulatory clearance for Sandun´s purchase in early 2007.

Sandun has annual sales of EUR5m and employs 240 people.

With 9,200 workers, Cie has 35 factories around the world including Brazil, Mexico and China.

Ivan Castano

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