The Slovenia Times

Ring International Still Candidate for Acquisition of Helios?

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Aside from Ring International, the US giant PPG Industries and investment fund One Equity Partner are reported to be interested in acquiring Helios, one of the ten biggest Slovenian exporters. The business daily Finance reported today that biding bids had been submitted by PPG and Ring International.

According to Finance, the consortium of banks selling a combined 72.89% stake in the company is to open the bids at the end of this week. Considering the current market price (the share was flat at EUR 495 on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange today) the stake is worth around EUR 100m.

Ring International is a leading corporate group in stationery products and industrial coatings and has a staff of 1,300 on three continents, company officials told reporters in Ljubljana. The group generated EUR 82.4m in gross profit in 2012 on EUR 206.5m in revenue.

The Austrian holding's chief supervisor Ralph Martens would not comment on whether the company was interested in buying Helios, but he said that they were financially capable of buying something that was bigger than them.

The holding took over in 2008 metal products manufacturer Niko of ┼Żelezniki, which Martens said had become their main asset in the stationary products division. "We are very proud of that company," he said, praising Slovenians for being excellent engineers, motivated, and keen to change things.

The takeover of Helios would be one of the biggest in Slovenia following last year's acquisition of Etol, the Celje-based maker of flavourings and essential oils, by Israel's Frutarom Industries.

The group around Helios, a leading coatings maker in SE Europe, employs a workforce of more than 2,300. Last year the group generated EUR 337.9m in net sales revenue and a profit of EUR 4.4m, up EUR 1.34m on the year before.

In the first quarter the group made a loss of EUR 852,000 on EUR 67.3m in sales revenue. The loss was down on the same period last year but in line with the plans as the coatings sector is a seasonal industry.

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