Magna CEO Sees Buying Opps in Auto Crisis

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Canadian car parts maker Magna International Inc (MGa.TO) sees the global economic crisis providing acquisition opportunities as smaller rivals throw in the towel, co-Chief Executive Siegfried Wolf told a German newspaper.

“We have less competition from private equity companies and hedge funds than we did a few months ago,” said Wolf, who heads the company jointly with Donald Walker, in an interview to be published in Tuesday’s edition of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Acquisition prices have become more realistic as a result, and a raft of insolvencies among automotive suppliers could provide purchasing opportunities, he said.

“And we have no debt. Our financial basis is strong, also for acquisitions,” Wolf told the newspaper.

Magna last week agreed to buy the European operations of bankrupt U.S. rival Cadence Innovation LLC in the Czech Republic and Hungary for an undisclosed price.

But Wolf said a possible bid for German bearings maker Schaeffler and its auto parts maker Continental AG (CONG.DE) was out of the question. (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)