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Steel Group SIJ Taking Over Italy's CSM

Ljubljana, 25 October (STA) - Steel group SIJ signed on Tuesday a framework agreement for the acquisition of a 72.28% stake in Italian company CSM, which cuts and distributes stainless steel quarto plates and nickel alloys.

SIJ, which is majority Russian-owned, while the state holds a 25% stake plus one share, signed the agreement with Italian company Quarto Fin.

The deal is part of the strategy of expanding SIJ's own sales network to preserve and increase its market share in the EU, the group said in a press release.

SIJ is to obtain part of the shares with a direct acquisition from Quarto Fin and small shareholders and a part with in-kind contributions via shares it holds in companies active in the same branch of industry - the services-sales centre Griffon & Romano from Milan and its subsidiaries Inoxcut in Inoxpoint and the German Niro Wenden.

The framework agreement will enter into force as soon as av due diligence is completed and all regulatory permits are obtained.

CSM or Centro Servizi Metalli has two man production units in Italy, one at the seat of the company in Reggio Emilia and one in Cremona, as well as two service-manufacturing units in Poland and France.

SIJ says that CSM is to become a leading company in Europe for the cutting and distribution of stainless steel plates, thereby helping to consolidate and increase the presence of the group on key EU markets.

It expects CSM to generate an annual EUR 135m in consolidated revenues, while it also points to synergies resulting from the takeover. It highlighted the positive effects for the group's Jesenice-based steel maker Acroni, which is already the most important supplier of stainless steel plates for CSM.

The SIJ group, which employs 3,300 workers, is the fourth-biggest exporter among manufacturers in Slovenia and the fifth-biggest group based on revenues.

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