Heidelberg to refinance Hanson debt
By Chris Sleight14 January 2009
Heidelberg Cement plans to issue new shares, extend bank loans and sell businesses as part of a package of measures to pay down the debt it took on for the acquisition of Hanson. The company says these plans are not related to any problems financial problems at its shareholder VEM, the investment vehicle of Dr Adolf Merckle, who committed suicide last week.
According to Heidelberg, the debt it took on to finance the acquisition of Hanson in 2007 will mature in 2010. A company statement said, "Heidelberg Cement plans to proactively address its capital structure already in 2009. Heidelberg Cement's aim is to strengthen its equity capital base and to extend the maturities of its bank financing to improve its maturity profile. For further deleveraging, Heidelberg Cement plans the disposal of non-strategic assets."
Regarding VEM, and Dr Merckle's suicide, the company said, "The planned realignment of the financing structure is independent of the publicly discussed financial situation of Heidelberg Cement's shareholder VEM. Heidelberg Cement operates independently of VEM and recent events do not affect Heidelberg Cement operationally. There is no financial relationship between Heidelberg Cement and VEM except VEM being a shareholder."