BUSINESS IN SHORT

Russian Magnezit Group takes over Slovmag

THE LEADING Russian manufacturer of refractory materials, Magnezit Group, has acquired the Lubeník-based company Slovmag. Slovmag is the second-biggest producer of magnesite refractory materials in Slovakia.

THE LEADING Russian manufacturer of refractory materials, Magnezit Group, has acquired the Lubeník-based company Slovmag. Slovmag is the second-biggest producer of magnesite refractory materials in Slovakia.

The Slovmag board of directors' chair Ján Galovič confirmed on January 22 for the Hospodárske Noviny daily that MAG Holding, located in Luxemburg, obtained more than 99 percent of Slovmag. Thus the Slovak company became part of the Russian giant Magnezit Group.

The seller, the Bratislava-based company InvestKapital, did not reveal any information about the deal.

For now nobody dares forecast how the biggest Russian processor and dominant player will affect the Slovak magnesite industry. Experts see an attempt to penetrate markets of the European Union or the significant capacity of Slovmag for pressing magnesite construction materials as the possible motive behind the acquisition.

Magnezit Group consists of seven companies, of which two are in China and one in Germany. It also owns a magnesite deposit and one of the biggest refractory plants in the world. It controls two-thirds of the Russian market and manufactures 1.3 million tonnes of products annually.

Slovmag produces and sells refractory materials with magnesite and magnetite content for metallurgical, cement and lime works. It employs about 1,000 people and is among the biggest employers in the Revúca District, which suffers from a 25-percent jobless rate.

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