Mondi Bids $360 Million to Take Full Control of Polish Unit

Mondi Group, Europe’s largest maker of office paper, offered 1.17 billion zloty ($360 million) to buy the remaining 34 percent of its Polish unit Mondi Swiecie SA and delist the company from the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

Mondi, which acquired a majority stake in Swiecie in 1997, announced a bid to buy 17 million shares at 69 zloty each, it said in a statement today. Swiecie jumped as much as 6.5 percent to 73.5 zloty in Warsaw, the highest since Oct. 27.

“Investors seem to hope the bid price will be increased and that’s why the stock is trading above what Mondi offered to pay,” Maciej Wewiorski, a Warsaw-based analyst at IDM SA, said by phone today.

Mondi plans to close the bid by April 10 after it manages to buy at least a 14 percent stake in the company, according to its statement. UniCredit SpA’s Warsaw unit is managing the bid.

Swiecie closed 5.8 percent higher at 73 zloty at the close in Warsaw. Mondi declined 2 percent to 66.89 rand in Johannesburg, paring this year’s advance to 17 percent.

“The Polish business is a highly profitable business, with assets on a low cost curve,” Campbell Parry, an equity analyst at Investec, said by phone from Cape Town. “By taking full ownership it cleans up the financials and gives Mondi increased exposure to a very stable economy.” Parry has a “buy” recommendation on the stock of the Johannesburg-based company.

ING PTE SA, the Warsaw-based pension fund that is Swiecie’s biggest minority shareholder with a 10 percent holding, wouldn’t comment on the bid, Ewa Radkowska-Swieton, head of investments at ING PTE, wrote in an e-mailed response to questions from Bloomberg News. Aviva PTE SA, which owns 7.3 percent of the Polish company, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, is analyzing the offer, Chief Investment Officer Marcin Zoltek wrote in a text message.

Swiecie’s net income jumped 59 percent to 396 million zloty last year as sales climbed to 2.77 billion zloty from 2.26 billion zloty, according to a regulatory statement today.

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