Petzetakis reorganizes

Plastic pipe manufacturer Petzetakis said yesterday it plans to offer up to a 10 percent stake to a group of investors as part of a strategy to get the debt-laden company back on track. Giorgos Petzetakis, managing director, said the company is currently holding talks with the potential investors but declined to give further details. The company was reportedly about to sign an agreement with Global Finance, which would see the venture capital group acquire a stake and take over the management. The deal was called off following a management shake-up at Petzetakis earlier this month. The company plans to sell non-core activities and boost its share of the domestic market as part of a strategy to reduce its mountain of debt and increase revenues, Petzetakis said. The company owes 125 million euros to banks as a result of a series of acquisitions in Canada, Germany, South Africa, Spain and Italy over a period of 11 months. Early this month, it marked over company property and buildings valued at 132 million euros to the banks as collateral for the loans. «We have restructured the loans,» Petzetakis said. He said the company plans to raise 25 million euros from the sale of non-core operations to pay off the banks. Increasing its share of the domestic market is seen as critical to boosting revenues. The management shake-up which saw Petzetakis taking over as managing director last week and the implementation of a leaner organizational structure are also expected to help turn the company around. Group profits before tax and minority rights in the first nine months of the year amounted to 825,000 euros against a loss of 3.44 million euros last year. Petzetakis shares fell by 2.5 percent yesterday to close at 1.56 euros. The stock has lost 68 percent of its value since the beginning of the year.

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