UK Watts aims high with new Bulgarian JV

News Story
- 29 Mar 2007 ( #303 ) - LYDNEY, United Kingdom
2 min read
UK-based Watts Tyres Plc has established a joint venture company, Watts Zarya Ltd, with a former member of the Balkancar group.

Watts announced at IMHX in Birmingham that Watts Zarya Ltd had been established as a joint venture with steel wheel and rim manufacturer Balkancar Zarya, of Pavlikeni, Northern Bulgaria. Watts Zarya would supply wheels and tyres to the materials handling OEM market.

Watts CEO Jean-Paul Mindermann said the joint venture was a cornerstone of the company's strategy to be the materials handling industry's leading wheel and tyre provider.

"Balkancar Zarya is an excellent partner with high quality wheels to complement our tyres and existing wheel business.

"With Bulgaria joining the EU, the timing and location is perfect to offer OEMs the high quality, competitive solution they are searching for."

Bulgaria and Romania became EU members on January 1, 2007.

Stoyan Stoev, Balkancar Zarya chairman, said the Bulgarian manufacturer would expand its competitive position with existing OEM customers and in the aftermarket through its partnership with Watts.

Watts Zarya would start supplying to customers in the next three months. A Watts and Balkancar Zarya joint statement said the company was in "advanced discussions" with several key OEMs.

Watts Zarya starts trading on May 1, 2007. The company will initially target the European market using Watts Tyres and Balkancar Zarya's distribution infrastructure in Europe.

Balkancar Zarya sales manager Anton Stoynev told Forkliftaction.com News the company was established in the 1960s to supply wheels for Balkancar forklift assembly plants in Sofia and Plovdiv. Balkancar Zarya no longer belongs to the Balkancar group of companies and was privatised in mid-2005. Production facilities cover 20,000 square metres. More than 90 per cent of Balkancar Zarya's annual production of 120,000 wheels is exported. In 2006, its production process was ISO 9001 certified.

This year, Watts acquired a majority shareholding in its Mexican distributor UK Tires SA and expanded its US operations with the acquisition of Diprima's industrial tyre business.
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Previously about:
Balkancar Zarya wins contract News Story - 2 Apr 2009 - Sofia, Bulgaria - 2 min read
Wheel manufacturer buys Balkancar parts company News Story - 13 Sep 2007 - SOFIA, Bulgaria - 1 min read
Metal technology group buys Balkancar company News Story - 21 Sep 2006 - SOFIA, Bulgaria - 2 min read
Watts acquisition enhances UK presence News Story - 25 Oct 2007 - LYDNEY, United Kingdom - 1 min read
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