Tessenderlo announced it has signed an agreement to sell its animal feed phosphate subsidiary Aliphos to the Belgian company EcoPhos.
As Tessenderlo will close down its phosphate production plant in Ham at year-end (due to an expiring environmental permit), the sale only concerns the plant in Rotterdam, Netherlands, as well as three sales offices (Germany, Spain and Poland). The capacity of the Dutch phosphates plant is about 280kt which is about half of the size of the Belgian plant that is to be closed.
As a rough guess, we would estimate that the annual revenue generated by the Dutch plant is around € 60m with a very limited positive EBITDA generation. Hence we expect the cash proceeds from this transaction to be very limited as well, a couple of millions of € maximum.
We remind that Tessenderlo formally announced at the occasion of its 3Q results release last week that it intended to sell the feed phosphates operations (excl. the Belgian plant to be closed) and also took a € 10.6m impairment and € 0.7m sell and other provisions for this matter. We understood from a company contact that the impairment taken last week is sufficient and no other impairment should be expected.
The sale of the Dutch animal feed phosphates plant is no surprise and another step in the transformation of Tessenderlo that should lead to a smaller but higher-return company with Tessenderlo Kerley and Gelatin & Akiolis as the core operations. There still is one major divestment to be made, ie the Plastic Pipes Systems (PPS). Management said last week that this sales process is still ongoing, with significant interest from potential buyers, but they would withdraw the sales price if the value obtained is not good enough. We value PPS at € 154m which represents a 7x EV/EBITDA multiple on our 2014 forecasts. A PPS sale would allow to significantly reduce net debt (€ 232.7m at the end of 3Q13 or € 321.1m including factoring/securitization). Although the fair value derived from our SOTP model (€ 19) is somewhat above the current share price, we stick to our Hold rating and € 19 target price due to the uncertainty on the PPS divestment process and the current weak earnings momentum (especially for Akiolis), with limited visibility on an improvement.