Specialist engineering firm TI Group will bolster its presence in the region through the GBP13 million (about HK$156.39 million) purchase of Bundy Asia Pacific joint venture. TI yesterday purchased the 50 per cent stake it did not already own, taking full control of the venture as part of its strategy to increase the region's importance as a sourcing centre. Group Asia Pacific director Bob Fisher said the group's John Crane Tianjin joint venture, which manufactures components for industrial seals, was now exporting quality products to Britain and Europe. Originally owning only 33 per cent of the joint venture, Mr Fisher said the company increased its stake to 66 per cent for GBP1.5 million, and was investing a further GBP700,000 in a second automotive seal line. Bundy Asia Pacific, which makes fluid carrying systems for the refrigeration and automotive industry, was hoping to better tap the Asian market, where Mr Fisher estimated 40 per cent of the world's refrigerator manufacturing and 33 per cent of vehicle manufacturing now took place. Last year, Bundy's regional interests contributed GBP20 million in sales to the group. Tubemakers of Australia, which sold TI its 50 per cent stake in Bundy, said the price included the sale of its 24 per cent shareholding in Korea Bundy Corp, giving TI 39 per cent control. Mr Fisher said progress in the region was also being made through Wuhan Bundy Fluid Systems, which initially was established to serve Peugeot Citroen's plant in Dongfeng, now manufacturing Citroen's new ZX model. The company said it was expecting sales of GBP5 million this year, and Mr Fisher said he hoped to soon be able to start servicing other truck and car manufacturers in Wuhan, either from its new plant, or Bundy's other Chinese joint ventures.