UK specialist systems and components group Meggitt is looking for further acquisitions to bolster its growing aerospace business as civil markets begin to boom, says chief executive Mike Stacey.

Since arriving at the company in 1995, Stacey has carried out a major restructuring, which has seen the group strip out 12 non-core industrial subsidiaries to concentrate on core businesses, including avionics, aerospace components and target systems

Aerospace activities account for about one-third of Meggit's annual sales of around ú260 million ($436 million). "Aerospace represents a very positive market for us. We will be happy to invest more and more into this field," says Stacey.

Takeover targets are likely to be based in the UK, rather than elsewhere in Europe because of the country's lower labour and social costs, he says, adding that the Airbus programmes, "must offer opportunities for competitive bids, especially from UK companies", as the consortium moves to turn itself into a commercial company.

Consolidation among "third-tier" suppliers is unlikely to occur on the same scale as the major contractors, however, because of the diversity of products they offer. "By the nature of aircraft, so much different technology goes into components," says Stacey. "In my view, there will always be a role for the small company that offers something genuinely different."

Source: Flight International