ECONOMY

In Brief

Carlyle to buy Greek firm Neochimiki for 749 mln euros LONDON (Reuters) – Private equity firm Carlyle Group said yesterday it would take over Greek chemical firm Neochimiki for 19 euros a share and help the company expand internationally. Carlyle has bought 73.54 percent of Neochimiki for 19 euros a share in block trades on the Athens Exchange and will launch a mandatory offer for the rest of the company at the same price. It said 20 percent of the shares were bought from Lavrentis Lavrentiadis, former chairman, CEO and son of the founder of Neochimiki. The transaction implies an enterprise value of 749 million euros for the company, which is expanding its chemicals distribution and production business into the Balkan region. New delay for Lavipharm’s pain patch in the USA Lavipharm SA, the Greek cosmetics and pharmaceutical company, faces a year’s delay before it can start selling its pain patch in the USA after a dispute with the product’s manufacturer. Finding a new manufacturer for the fentanyl painkiller will take at least 15 months, the Athens-based company said yesterday in a bourse filing. Lavipharm is in «advanced talks» with possible producers after a batch of the painkiller, sent to US regulators for approval, failed testing last year. The company had originally expected to begin selling the product as early as 2007, and is seeking a 10 percent share of the $700 million US market for skin-absorbable fentanyl. (Bloomberg) Turkish c/a deficit Turkey’s current account deficit rose 37 percent year-on-year to $4.157 billion in March, the central bank said yesterday, compared to a Reuters poll forecast of a $3.7 billion deficit. In February, the current account deficit was $3.76 billion, according to revised figures from the central bank. The trade gap rose 25.4 percent year-on-year to $5.36 billion. Turkey exports processed goods to Europe from imported raw materials. (Reuters) GE-Bosnia deal Bosnia’s Serb Republic government said yesterday it is close to clinching a 170-million-euro deal with US conglomerate General Electric to help it rebuild its devastated rail network. «The contract could be signed in a month’s time,» the prime minister of the autonomous region, Milorad Dodik, told a news conference after a meeting with the company’s officials. He said the project could start in September. (Reuters) Akbank Q1 profit Akbank, Turkey’s largest publicly traded bank in terms of market capitalization, posted a first-quarter net profit of 720 million lira ($569 million), Deputy General Manager Hayri Culhaci said yesterday. He did not provide comparative figures but data on the stock exchange website showed Akbank, which is partly owned by Citigroup, achieved net profit of 448 million lira in the same period last year. (Reuters)