PG PAPER has revealed it is in talks to acquire three companies in three countries as the Renfrewshire firm prepares to enter a major expansion phase.

The company, which already trades in 24 countries, has highlighted acquisitions as key to its strategy of growing the business on the world stage.

PG, owned by Poonam and Puneet Gupta, is targeting companies which are finding it hard to achieve growth, but which offer scale in their respective markets.

The expansion is being driven by demands for new products from both existing and new customers. It comes after the firm spent two to three years putting infrastructure in place to drive growth.

PG is now on target to turn over £30 million in its current financial year, powered by business from new clients and entry into four new markets, including Georgia and Ukraine.

Poonam Gupta, a former Scottish Asian Businesswoman of the Year, said: "We're already in conversation with three companies in three different continents basically to look at buying them out. We are also looking for more opportunities like that to come our way."

Noting that any acquisitions will be self-funded, Puneet added: "We're looking to grow the business through acquiring, and we're trying to set ourselves up for the next burst of growth.

"We believe that acquisition is going to be one of the ways to grow internationally. There are companies in America, Africa, the Far East, Scandinavia [and] Germany which we have pinpointed.

"We do believe that through acquisition we will achieve our growth faster."

PG currently does the bulk of its business in the Indian Subcontinent, with paper and stationery forming the "backbone" of trade.

However the firm, on track to turn over £30 million in its current financial year, is aiming to both open new markets and introduce new products as it seeks to expand.

South America and South Africa have been targeted thanks to the prospect of healthy margins and economic growth in both markets. PG already trades in both territories, however the owners believe they hold potential for significant growth.

PG's products now range from "containerised" volume industrial commodities, such as metals, plastics and oils, to finished products including footballs, toys and bicycles.

Puneet, whose family manufactured specialist paper in India, said: "Our backbone has always been in the Indian Subcontinent. It is only natural for us to expand outwith where we currently are, and we are getting the demand from these areas."

Poonam said: "We are already in these markets - we are just expanding. We supply these markets but not to the extent that we would like, so we are spending a little bit more time and effort [on them]."

Asked which products the company intended to supply to these markets, she said: "Puneet takes on the role of business analyst and he is going to look at those opportunities and decide whether it is worth doing them.

"Brazil is coming in a big way. [It is] a contract we have had for 10 years, but as our customers expand we tend to expand and take on extra business that they come up with."

In addition to moving into new markets, Guptas are looking to expand by acquiring premises outside their family home, where they have run the company since its formation in 2003.

They are also looking to expand the team, which currently includes eight staff in Scotland and 24 in various countries, with the recruitment drive focused filling management, marketing and research and development (R&D) roles.

PG does not produce goods itself, and instead calls on a network of manufacturers at home and abroad. It also has a policy of hiring staff locally to make communication easier.

Poonam said: "I think it's extremely important. Even in this social media and technology age it is still important to have a human touch to your business, to understand the culture, to be able to speak the language."

The owners say the global nature of the business means it can roll with the fortunes if the economies it trades in, highlighting the current opportunity to buy in the eurozone and Russia in light of the economic and currency issues facing both areas. Puneet said: "Tomorrow the dollar might be weaker and we are able to do more in America."

He added: "Russia is huge opportunity to source from because the rouble has plummeted. Being in different markets dealing with different currencies and growth rates allows us to mobilise."