Ciech acquires German SWS soda producer

23-11-2007, 10:39

Warsaw (Puls Biznesu) – Ciech has fought fiercely to win the European soda market. But it plans further acquisitions and will need to issue new shares. Will the government approve of these plans?

 In November 2006, Ciech bought Romanian soda producer US Govora. Last Wednesday, it signed agreement to buy 100 percent of Sodawerk Stassfurt (SWS). The cost of the acquisition will amount to EUR 75m. EUR 15m is supposed to come from the company’s own sources while EUR 60m from issuing bonds in the beginning of December. The shareholders have already approved of the transaction. Ciech must also refinance UER 69.4m of SWS debt. It will soon start negotiations with the banks.

Soda Deutschland Ciech is running the acquisition, a company controlled by Ciech in 90 percent. 10 percent belongs to Jochem Ohm, older SWS shareholder. Ciech pledged to buy the stake till the year 2010. According to “PB” data, Ciech consulted the acquisition with the new Minister of the Treasure Aleksander Grad. The transaction is said not to raise any controversies at the ministry. Thanks to the acquisition of SWS, Ciech will have 35 percent of German soda market. The Polish company will also strengthen its position in Europe. The German antimonopoly authorities must approve of the transaction. SWS has EUR 76m of sales.

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