AmRest eyes Sfinks restaurant operator

22-08-2008, 13:33

First AmRest reduced its stake at Sfinks to  less than 5 percent. Later on, it announced a tender call to buy more shares of  rival restaurant operator.

American Restaurants, AmRest, running Pizza Hut, KFC or Starbucks, surprised investors and analysts yesterday when it announced a tender call to buy 1,390,000 shares giving 11.2 percent of votes, of Sfinks restaurant operator. Several days ago, AmRest had reduced its stake at Sfinks to below 5 percent. AmRest wants to have 25.52 percent of rival company. It already keeps a 14 percent stake which most probably was acquired from Tomasz Morawski, Sfinx major shareholder.

AmRest is to pay PLN 19.41 (EUR 5.9) per share. The transaction is planned at the beginning of September. AmRest stresses that the acquisition of Sfinks stake, which runs Sphinx, Chlopskie Jadlo and Wook restaurants, is a strategic investment. Both companies may integrate. AmRest may increase its stake.

“It doesn’t make sense to have 25 percent of Sfinks without buying stake from Tomasz Morawski. It is not enough to have influence on the operations. In addition, Sfinks evaluation is higher than this of AmRest, even if Sfinks has PLN 10m of net income this year as planned”, Dorota Puchlew, ING Securities analyst commented.

In her opinion, Sfinks development potential is limited and the company may fail to meet the forecasts. However, she believes in synergies for both companies in case of a merger.

(PLN 1 = EUR 0.303)

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