France’s Imerys signs deal to ab­sorb S&B Min­er­als

Agree­ment to cost 558 mln, with Greek firm keep­ing its baux­ites

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY ANESTIS DOKAS

France’s world-lead­ing in­dus­trial min­er­als company Imerys signed the ab­sorp­tion of Greece’s S&B In­dus­trial Min­er­als in one of the big­gest in­ter­na­tional deals in the his­tory of Greek en­ter­prises yes­ter­day.

Imerys said in a bourse fil­ing from Paris that the value of the deal stands at 558 mil­lion euros. After the com­ple­tion of the ab­sorp­tion process the Greek firm will con­trol 4.5 per­cent of the French company and its chair­man Ulysses Kyr­i­akopou­los will hold a seat on the Imerys gov­ern­ing board.

Imerys said the deal rep­re­sented a “strate­gic com­bi­na­tion for the in­te­gra­tion of the main ac­tiv­i­ties of S&B,” while Kyr­i­akopou­los told Kathimerini on Wed­nes­day that the ab­sorp­tion of S&B will not af­fect the Greek firm’s baux­ite ac­tiv­ity.

“Dis­cus­sions with the French group lasted six months, as the aim of the man­age­ment has been to safe­guard the fu­ture course of S&B and con­tinue its ex­pan­sion. I have to stress that ac­tiv­i­ties in Greece are con­tin­u­ing as nor­mal with­out the op­er­a­tions of the company be­ing af­fected. The ab­sorp­tion con­cerns the whole group ex­cept for the baux­ites,” said Kyr­i­akopou­los.

He added that the French group has a strong liq­uid­ity base and is one of the French bourse’s blue chips that con­sti­tute the CAC 40 in­dex. Imerys’s cap­i­tal­iza­tion on the Paris stock mar­ket amounts to about 4 bil­lion euros.

Imerys in­formed the French cap­i­tal mar­ket com­mis­sion of its ac­qui­si­tion of S&B late on Wed­nes­day, ahead of the deal’s sig­na­ture in Paris yes­ter­day.

Founded in 1880, the French company was for years known as Imetal, be­fore be­ing re­named Imerys on Septem­ber 22, 1999. The group is present in over 50 coun­tries with more than 250 in­dus­trial lo­ca­tions. It also op­er­ates over 120 mines and ex­ports 30 min­er­als. It had sales of almost 3.9 bil­lion euros in 2012 and em­ploys some 16,000 peo­ple.

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