4/14/2008

Russians entered cement industry in Turkey

According to FederalPress of 04/04/2008, Sibirskiy Cement [Siberian Cement] has entered into an agreement with Italcementi Group, the largest Italian cement manufacturer, for the purchase of Italcementi Set Group, a Turkish cement holding company. This holding company comprises four cement plants, a network of concrete plants, and a specialized terminal for cement transshipment at the maritime port. Ten companies participated in the auction that took place on March 28 for the sale of Italcementi Set Group, including funds representing the interests of Alpha Group and Bazeltsement. The plants of the Turkish holding company have an annual design output of 5 million metric tons of high-quality cement produced using the "dry" method. The facilities are located in the cities Ankara , Afyon, Balikesir and Thrace Region. Transactions of this scope have already occurred in Russia; in 2005, Evrotsement acquired the plants of Inteko for $800 million. "The structure of the contract is such that part of the amount will be paid in cash, and part in Sibirskiy tsement stock," said Andrei Muraviev, president of Sibirskiy tsement holding company to the Kontinent-Sibir newspaper. "That is, 400 million euros represent bank loans for the purchase of the holding company, and 200 million euros are Sibirskiy tsement shares. Thus, the Italian company will receive a 5% share package of Sibirskiy Cement. The Kommersant newspaper observed that this transaction was "fortunate, since in addition to expanding its capacity, the company received an additional and very promising market outlet for its goods, say market players. One of the principal aspects of the Turkish development business is the large number of incomplete facilities, e.g., hydroelectric stations, highways, cultural centers, industrial facilities, airports, and tunnels, the overall cost of which is estimated at $15 billion. Maxim Sotnikov, Chairman of the Board of Sukholozhsktsment, is convinced it will be more cost-effective for Sibtsement to deliver products to Sochi from Turkey than from Siberia, where the company's primary production capacity is located. He estimates that the sales price of Turkish cement in the south of Russia will reach €120–130 per metric ton, while the price of Siberian cement will be €250 per metric ton. At the same time, export duties for Turkish cement are insignificant, at about 5%, he says. However, the delivery of cement from Turkey is made more complicated by the fact that Black Sea ports lack the infrastructure to handle bulk cement, which is widely used by Russian consumers, says Denis Usoltsev, Director of Marketing at Bazeltsement. To date, the Novorossisk port closest to Sochi has transshipped almost no cement, agrees Mr. Sotnikov. According to his information, during this year's summer peak cement consumption, the port will be able to handle up to 3 million metric tons of product." Other sources in the Russian press have devoted particular attention to the specialized port of Ambarli and the grinding plant located at the port, with its annual capacity of 1.3 million metric tons. Ambarli has a superior strategic location, since the actual port of Ambarli represent a first-rate gateway to Turkey's international trade. The cement terminal, which is equipped with the latest materials handling equipment, is designed to accept 220 ships having a tonnage of 20–25 thousand metric tons. The availability of a specialized maritime port in Turkey as part of Sibirskiy suggests increased cement imports into southern Black Sea Russian ports. Andrei Muraviev, the President and joint owner of the Sibirskiy Cement holding company calls this transaction strategic, directed toward diversifying the sales market and commencing the creation of a transnational cement company. In addition, Sibirskiy Cement will gain access to high-class recordkeeping, control, and manufacturing technologies in use at the SET Group assets, which in turn will permit the business of the combined company to be optimized.

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