HANOVER, Germany -- Continental is pondering takeover deals to strengthen its tire business as part of its expansion strategy, the head of the unit said.
"In this context (of finding takeover targets), we are also and particularly thinking of the replacement tire business," Nikolai Setzer, head of the tire division told Reuters today.
"We have the financial capability" to shoulder purchases, Setzer said in an interview at the Hanover truck show.
Continental's rubber operations, which contributed two-thirds to first-half revenue at the auto parts and tire maker, helped the group increase first-half profit, benefiting from falling raw-materials prices.
The company has for some time been on the lookout for takeover opportunities in non-automotive operations to reduce its reliance on the volatile car industry.
Continental's last major deal was the purchase of U.S. rubber company Veyance Technologies in 2014 for 1.4 billion euros ($1.56 billion).
But Setzer said Continental has no plans to acquire another tire maker, instead focusing on replacement tire makers.
"There are not so many tire makers that could fit us," he said.