Germany’s Suedzucker AG To Acquire Belgian Sugar Refinery
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ The majority owner of Tiense Suikerraffinaderij NV said Thursday it will sell the company’s sugar refining operations to the largest sugar refiner in West Germany for about 39 billion francs, or $1 billion.
The deal will make Suedzucker AG of Mannheim the largest sugar producer in Europe, solidifying its position before Europe melds into one market in 1992. The company, which controls 40 percent of the West German sugar market, is now the European Community’s third-largest sugar maker behind Italy’s Ferruzzi SpA and Tate and Lyle PLC of Great Britain.
R.T. Holding SA, which owns 75 percent of the Belgian sugar concern, said an agreement with Suedzucker was signed on Wednesday based on a share price of 2,985 francs, or $76.53.
TienseSuikerffaffinaderij’s shares closed at $70 Tuesday. There was no trading Wednesday, the All Saints public holiday, and trading in the Belgian sugar company was suspended Thursday.
Sugar refining is TienseSuikerraffinaderij’s major business. The company reported 1988 profits of $69.2 million on revenues of $641 million.
Suedzucker reported annual sales of $1.17 billion in 1988. A cooperative of sugar farmers owns 60 of the concern; Deutsche Bank has a 20-percent stake.
R.T. Holding said its Dutch parent, R.T. Holding-Nederland, will buy the non-refining assets of Tiense Suikerraffinaderij, including biotechnological research, agro-industry and food processing companies.
Negotiations to sell the Belgian sugar refinery to Suedzucker began in October, but rumors of a deal had been widespread for some time.
The company’s shares began to rally last spring amid talk that the Wittouck family, which controls R.T. Holding, was negotiating to sale.
Tiense Suikerraffinaderij is based in Tienen, east of Brussels.