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Cherkizovo estimates Mosselprom buy synergy at $5-$10 mln per year

16 may 2011
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The Cherkizovo group, which announced the finalization of the purchase of agro-holding Mosselprom on Monday, estimates the synergetic effect of the deal at from $5 million to $10 million per year. "We see a large synergetic effect from this deal that could be from $5 million to $10 million a year," the group's General Director Sergei Mikhailov told the press on Monday. "The main synergy will come particularly in distribution, logistics, and procurement operations," he said. The effect of the deal will also involve the company's share of the Moscow market more than doubling, he said. This deal could make it possible to refinance Mosselprom's debt burden, since Cherkizovo will be able to raise funds at lower cost, Mikhailov said. The group's financial director, Lyudmila Mikhailova, said the deal - in which Cherkizovo assumes Mosselprom's $183.8 million debt burden - will increase the company's debts this year by 5 billion rubles to almost 25 billion rubles. Considering the debt/EBITDA ratio, which is expected to be around 4, will be "a little more than 4" this year, she said. The company is looking for the same figure next year. Mosselprom's main creditor is Rosselkhozbank, and the company is carrying some loans from Sberbank of Russia (RTS: SBER). "In the main, all the debt involves subsidized credits taken primarily to buy grain for the production of compound feeds," Mikhailova said, adding that "all the [Mosselprom] debt will be refinanced." Vadim Zolotarev and Vadim Kamashev, Mosselprom's president and deputy general director, and an as yet unnamed investment company, are the main sellers, Mikhailova said. As to senator Sergei Lisovsky's involvement in the deal, he has not commented. As reported, $27 million of the deal is being financed with an additional Cherkizovo share issue. "This is the first time in the company's history that we are using new shares to pay for part of a deal," Mikhailov said, adding that the sellers may get 1.5%-2% of the group's stock. "We think our competitive advantage is that we can offer the sellers an opportunity to not divest fully of the business, but to take part in consolidation with the receipt of stock and participation in growing capitalization in the unified company," he said. "I think this could be an interesting mechanism for future deals," he said. The company continues to study its assets on the poultry-meat market, Mikhailov said. "The consolidation of the sector is today the more proper and effective route to further development," he said. "As a long-term goal we see a market share of 25%-30%, which is sufficient for getting benefits from consolidation." Achieving that share, he said, could take "five plus" years. The plan is to complete Mosselprom's integration into the group by the end of this year. Its financials will be included in the group's reporting starting this month.
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