The Prague MFDnes daily newspaper reported that Skanska will, early next week, buy the majority stake in IPS from Ludek Sekyra’s Stredoevropska stavebni. The latter won a tender sale earlier this year but failed to secure long-term financing for the acquisition. The paper reported that Skanska will pay CZK 2.3 bil. However, it is not clear what percentage of the stock would actually be purchased by Skanska. Apart from the original stake of 56.3%, won by Stredoevropska stavebni in the tender, there may be shares accumulated by Stredoevropska stavebni through its buy-out offer.
Separately, IPS’ annual shareholder meeting was held yesterday. Shareholders approved the distribution of the 1999 net profit and gave approval to other routine measures. The company will pay no dividends (vs. a 1999 dividend of CZK 5.5 per share) and the great part of 1999 net profit will be used for the repaying of bonds in the amount of CZK 400 mil., which are due in August. Also, the company’s CFO said that IPS is to pay about CZK 400 mil. by the end of 2000 due to the capital increase in DSH, which was acquired at the end of 1998. Part of the needed cash will be raised from the sale of selected assets.