Slovenia’s Impol aims to acquire Croatian aluminium producer TLM in 2016

By bne IntelliNews March 9, 2016

The acquisition of Croatian aluminium maker TLM is one of the main goals of Slovenian aluminium producer Impol, Impol director Jernej Coki told Slovenian Press Agency (STA) in an interview published on March 8. Impol also plans to enter the car industry and to almost double revenue within the next ten years to €1bn.

Croatian news agency Hina reported on February 18 that Impol plans to lease production facilities at Sibenik-based TLM from March 9 which is seen as a first step towards the acquisition of the bankrupt Croatian aluminium producer. TLM has been facing financial difficulties for several years. In mid-2015 Russian businessman Igor Shamis took over the company, after which production stopped due to the lack of raw materials, and workers stopped being paid.

According to Coki, Impol’s focus this year is the acquisition of the bankruptcy estate of TLM, on which Impol has been working for a year and expects to close the deal in the coming weeks.

"There was a lot of work but we've finally found ways to carry it out. In all likelihood we will lease the assets during the course of the bankruptcy proceedings and launch production. If all goes according to plan, everything will be arranged this week," he said.

Coki told STA that Impol decided to acquire TLM because it was rare that a company goes bankrupt just as another company needs precisely those production capabilities - in TLM's case a fairly new rolling mill.

"In Slovenska Bistrica we will soon close a 55-year old unproductive hot rolling mill, which is a dwarf compared to the one in Sibenik. The Sibenik mill is ten years old and a new one costs €80mn. As a result, Impol will get inputs that it now has to purchase on the market while freeing up capacity at its headquarters in Slovenska Bistrica for the flagship extrusion programme," he said.

In the initial phase Impol plans to hire 280 of the almost 500 TLM workers have who lost their jobs.

"Afterwards we will increase output and headcount as we regain the market that TLM has lost," Coki said.

Coki believes that consequently, Impol will have the opportunity in the next five years to increase revenues to €1bn, which will help the company to achieve its end goal - entering the automotive industry.

Impol recorded an 11% y/y growth in revenues in 2015 amounting to €545mn, management company Impol 2000 announced in its unaudited results published on February 16. It recorded €25mn in pre-tax profit at the group level last year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) amounted to €48mn in 2015, which is 14% above plan.

Impol is one of the biggest Slovenian exporters with over 1,800 employees.

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