18 December 2006  Bekaert signs declaration of intent for the acquisition of Uralkord in Russia

Bekaert has signed a declaration of intent to acquire the Russian Uralkord for an enterprise value of 1.6 billion Russian roubles (€ 47 million). Uralkord, located in Magnitogorsk, manufactures steel cord products for tire reinforcement and serves nearly a quarter of the Russian market.

Bekaert has built up an extensive customer portfolio over the recent years for steel cord products used in tire reinforcement, steel fibres for reinforcing concrete and other specialized wire products. These products are now supplied to Russia from Bekaert plants in Central Europe.

Marc Vandecasteele, Group Executive Vice President, stated: “The development of a strong position in Russia is an essential part of our strategic objective of sustainable profitable growth. Given the growth potential in the Russian market we want to work closely with the steel industry and anticipate a significant increase in the demand for top quality products. Bekaert can offer the Russian tire manufacturers optimal service by having its own production platform.”

The parties anticipate to further work out this declaration of intent in order to close the transaction in the coming months.