Wienerberger AG recently announced that it is expanding its activities in Croatia with the acquisition of a 25% stake in hollow brick producer IGM Ciglana d.o.o. Petrinja. Wienerberger also holds an option to acquire the remaining shares. The Petrinja brick plant, located roughly 50 km south of Zagreb, was completely modernized in 2005 and now has an annual production capacity of 110 million NF (standard format for bricks).
The closing for the transaction took place June 16, 2008, and the parties have agreed not to reveal any information on the purchase price. With a market share of more than 85%, brick products are the most popular wall construction material in Croatia.
“The local residential construction market has shown strong development in recent years, and we expect further growth in 2008. Our forecasts indicate that building permits in this region should increase roughly 5%,” said Johann Windisch, member of the managing board of Wienerberger AG with responsibility for Central-East Europe and North America. “This latest transaction will broaden our regional coverage and strengthen our market position in Croatia. It will also allow us to increase exports to the neighboring country of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Our next step will involve investments at our existing hollow brick plant in Karlovac and the subsequent market launch of planed ground bricks in order to meet the rising demand for high-quality building materials in this region.“
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