January 13, 2010 / 10:02 PM / 9 years ago

AUTOSHOW-UPDATE 1-Magna looking at supplier acquisitions

* Looking at emerging markets, powertrain component areas

* Not interested in automakers after failed Opel deal

DETROIT, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Magna International Inc MGa.TO is looking at a number of auto parts suppliers for potential acquisitions but is no longer interested in taking over automakers, its co-chief executive said on Wednesday.

Magna has said it will focus on its core auto-arts business and is not considering taking over any other automakers after the collapse of a deal to buy a stake in General Motors Co’s [GM.UL] Opel European unit in November.

Magna co-CEO Don Walker said the Canada-based supplier hopes to expand in emerging markets such as China and Brazil, and in component areas that will support the development of electric cars and other fuel-efficient vehicles.

“We are keeping a close watch on what’s out there,” Walker said at the Automotive News Congress.

“We’re looking at a number of different acquisitions. Powertrains are going to grow and change as we get into electric vehicles and hybrids. Geographic areas we want to grow are China, Brasil, India ... Russia will be a growth market,” Walker said.

“At the end of the day, they have to make financial sense as well as strategic sense.”

Walker said the next five to ten years could see the number of major suppliers “dramatically reduced” as automakers still have excess production capacity and as they turn to a few financially healthy suppliers.

Walker sees little impact from Magna’s failed attempt to buy Opel. GM’s board reversed its decision to sell a 55 percent stake in Germany-based Opel to Magna and its Russian partners, Sberbank SBER03.MM and vehicle maker GAZ Group.

“I think if all had been settled and done, probably more good than bad, but relatively neutral,” Walker said.

Negotiations with its Russian partners have also allowed Magna to strengthen its foothold in what is expected to be a fast-growing market, he said.

“We have a very good relationship with them (GAZ), and we’re always looking for strategic alliances supporting them,” Walker said.

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