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Mytilineos ready for a new round of acquisitions

Greek industrial group Mytilineos plans to move ahead with an aggressive buyout and merger strategy, building on its strong balance sheet, according to chairman Evangelos Mytilineos.

Greek industrial group Mytilineos plans to move ahead with an aggressive buyout and merger strategy, building on its strong balance sheet, according to chairman Evangelos Mytilineos.

In comments to analysts and investors during the presentation of the company's six-month earnings, Mytilineos said that the company's balance sheet has improved in recent years amidst organic growth and high liquidity levels. With considerable scope for fresh funding, the company will look into new merger and acquisition opportunities, said the chairman.

"The crisis is gradually moving behind us and we are coming back," he highlighted.

The group has been expanding at a rapid pace in recent years. Between 1998-2006, the company grew via a series of successful buyouts, such as METKA, Sometra (the largest metals group in Romania) Hellenic Copper Mines (Cyprus) and Aluminum of Greece, one of the largest vertically integrated aluminum producers in Europe.

In the last decade, Mytilineos has not made any new acquisitions, opting to develop previously acquired companies, strengthen its market position and expand into new areas in strategy that helped shield the company from the downturn in the local economy.

Although there are no new deals to be announced immediately, sources tell Business Daily that the company is looking for potential targets located in strategic areas that are headed for restructuring.

In the energy market, the sector is widely expected to be consolidated. Currently, there are 18 private companies in the sector, a number that is considered to be excessive, controlling 27 percent of the market. The biggest target for all large players in the sector, not only for Mytilineos, is gas company DEPA. Its privatization has delayed but Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said that the sale will move ahead immediately.

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