Aerostructures manufacturer GKN Westland Aerospace is pursuing an acquisition or joint venture in France as part of an expansionist policy that has seen it take over seven US and European companies since 1997.

Chief executive Chris Gustar says expansion into France, possibly as part of a joint venture, would give the UK company greater access to Airbus projects as it strives to more than double its turnover to £1.5 billion ($2.4 billion) by 2001. "The jigsaw is not complete," he adds.

GKN Westland Aerospace specialises in engine nacelles and airframe components, and its acquisition trail has included composite and super plastically formed/diffusion-bonded titanium capabilities.

Recent buys include Dow UT of the USA, which produces components such as the complex sine-wave spars in the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor using resin transfer moulding.

This company fits with the former BP Chemical Advanced Materials business, based at Bristol, UK, acquired a year earlier.

Customers include the major North American and European prime contractors and engine makers.

Source: Flight International