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Austrian Ring International Holding Eyeing Helios

Ljubljana, 03 October (STA) - Ring International Holding, an Austrian industrial group, said Wednesday it has officially entered the bidding to acquire a majority stake in coatings maker Helios by signing a non-disclosure agreement. It wishes to acquire the majority stake in the Slovenian company.

A 73% stake in Helios was put on sale on 7 September by a consortium of shareholders that includes banks, funds and insurance companies, some of which acquired the stock as collateral from the bankrupt Church-owned Zvon Ena Holding.

The Vienna-based ring wants to acquire Helios in a bid to reap "significant and tangible synergies". The company said it was a strategic investor and supported the long-term development of its subsidiaries.

Ring, which specialises in stationery products and coatings, wants to make Helios the leading company in its coatings division, RIH Coating.

The group has 30 companies, including Slovenia's Niko Železniki, and about 1,300 employees in 47 countries worldwide. It had sales in excess of EUR 200m in 2011.

Helios posted group sales revenue of EUR 175.8m in the first half of this year, down marginally year-on-year. Net profit fell 32% to EUR 3.2m.

Helios is traded on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange but it is not a very liquid stock. Its market capitalisation currently stands at EUR 139m.

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