The Slovenia Times

Austrian firm acquires almost a third of Melamin


Kočevje - Panta Rhei Beratungs- und Beteiligungs, an Austrian firm in majority Slovenian ownership, has recently acquired just over 30% of Melamin to become the biggest single owner of the Kočevje-based chemical company.

According to a filing with the Ljubljana Stock Exchange, Panta Rhei Beratungs- und Beteiligungs recently bought a 30.62% stake in Melamin from the Bank Assets Management Company, which gives it 33.29% of the voting rights.

As its share is bellow a third of the voting rights, the acquirer is under Slovenian legislation not obliged to publish a takeover bid, which Martin Wodak, an Austrian financial adviser speaking on its behalf, said was not the Austrian firm's intention.

Nor is Panta Rhei Beratungs- und Beteiligungs planning to acquire any additional shares of Melamin, but it will monitor its development and the development of the market in general.

Wodak says the company acquired the stake because it sees Melamin as an attractive investment and is interested in its positive development.

Panta Rhei Beratungs- und Beteiligungs invests mainly in capital market instruments, as well as "young and mature businesses with attractive potential for growth, in particular in Europe, with a focus on Germany, Switzerland, Austria and countries of the former Yugoslavia", says Wodak.

Panta Rhei Beratungs- und Beteiligungs is 90% owned by AbPhage, a Slovenian-based company owned by Marjeta and Vida Štrancar which is registered for research in the field of biotechnology.

According to the newspaper Finance, the remaining 10% of Panta Rhei is owned by the Austrian firm Wodak & Partner.

The paper cites business registers in reporting that both the latter and Marjeta Štrancar used to rank among the owners of Bia Separations, an Ajdovščina-based biotechnology company that was sold in 2020 to Sartorius of Germany for EUR 360 million.

However, Aleš Štrancar, Bia Separations director, denied the latest transaction having any link to him whatsoever.

Half-yearly report for 2021 show that apart from the new shareholder, other major shareholders of Melamin are Sintegra (17.21%) and Zenit-T (8.52%). Small shareholders and employees hold 35.62% and 8.03% are Melamin's own shares.

Melamin CEO Srečko Štefanič would not comment on the acquisition of the stake by the Austrian firm, while he did point out that Melamin posted record-breaking results last year.

The half-yearly report shows the company increased sales by 43% year-on-year to EUR 32 million in the first half of 2021, upping operating profit by 84%. The company employs 213 people on a regular basis.

Štefanič expects sales to increase this year provided raw material prices and the Covid-19 situation stabilise.


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