A mainland private company announced yesterday it is making a public offer to take over all the companies in its sector if it can agree terms with them. The Panpan Group of Yingkou, Liaoning, said this was the first time a private firm had made such an open offer. Panpan manufactures anti-theft steel doors, claiming 900,000 of the four million produced in the country last year with a workforce of 4,000. It has 600 after-sales centres and output last year was 1.5 billion yuan (about HK$1.39 billion). Profit after tax was 60 million yuan. It commands the largest market share and among its main clients - individual households - it is the best-known brand. It is owned by Han Zhaosan, 45, a former employee who took over the firm when it was a township enterprise, with production of 40,000 doors in 1992. Its investment adviser, China M & A Management, said Panpan was willing to take over any firm in its sector, making steel-frame doors, door frames, garage doors and related products, subject to agreement on terms. Likely takeover targets include debt-ridden state companies with a large number of laid-off workers, which Panpan could obtain cheaply. Panpan said it wanted to expand its capacity and product range, while putting to use idle factories and unemployed workers. It also wants to acquire local brands, rather than selling to them from outside, which might encounter protectionist moves by local governments. In the longer term, it would like to list shares. Wang Shiyu, president of China M & A Management, said private firms had acquired many state companies but did not dare make a public offer for fear of political reprisals. The offer also reflects market potential, with Beijing designating house construction as one of the engines of growth this year, and a deterioration in law and order in some areas. The private sector has grown assured since President Jiang Zemin redefined it as an important part of the economy, putting it on a par with other forms of ownership.