ECONOMY

France’s Imerys signs deal to absorb S&B Minerals

France’s world-leading industrial minerals company Imerys signed the absorption of Greece’s S&B Industrial Minerals in one of the biggest international deals in the history of Greek enterprises on Thursday.

Imerys said in a bourse filing from Paris that the value of the deal stands at 558 million euros.

After the completion of the absorption process the Greek firm will control 4.5 percent of the French company and its chairman Ulysses Kyriakopoulos will hold a seat on the Imerys governing board.

Imerys said the deal represented a “strategic combination for the integration of the main activities of S&B,” while Kyriakopoulos told Kathimerini on Wednesday that the absorption of S&B will not affect the Greek firm’s bauxite activity.

“Discussions with the French group lasted six months, as the aim of the management has been to safeguard the future course of S&B and continue its expansion. I have to stress that activities in Greece are continuing as normal without the operations of the company being affected. The absorption concerns the whole group except for the bauxites,” said Kyriakopoulos.

He added that the French group has a strong liquidity base and is one of the French bourse’s blue chips that constitute the CAC 40 index. Imerys’s capitalization on the Paris stock market amounts to about 4 billion euros.

Imerys informed the French capital market commission of its acquisition of S&B late on Wednesday, ahead of the deal’s signature in Paris on Thursday.

Founded in 1880, the French company was for years known as Imetal, before being renamed Imerys on September 22, 1999. The group is present in over 50 countries with more than 250 industrial locations. It also operates over 120 mines and exports 30 minerals. It had sales of almost 3.9 billion euros in 2012 and employs some 16,000 people.