Wienerberger plans capital hike; Libya may buy 10% stake

Wienerberger plans capital hike; Libya may buy 10% stake
Published: 15 September 2009

Wienerberger AG said Monday it aims to raise at least EUR335.8m to repay debt and strengthen its financial position in a share issue that may see the Libyan state buy 10% of the Austrian company’s stock.

Wienerberger said the 35.6m new ordinary no-par value shares, or 40% of the existing share capital, have been priced at EUR10 each and will be offered to existing shareholders at a subscription ratio of two new shares per five existing shares.

That constitutes a premium of 28% to Friday’s closing price, Wienerberger Chief Executive Heimo Scheuch told reporters.

Libya’s Investment Authority, or LIA, has agreed to subscribe to up to 11.8 million of the new shares, equal to 10% of the future total share capital, Wienerberger said.

Scheuch said LIA would take a stake in the company only if the existing shareholders don’t exercise their subscription rights in full.

"It is not even certain that LIA will be a future shareholder. We are expecting a large interest from our current shareholders," Scheuch said, adding that a share buy by LIA would constitute nothing more than a financial investment.

Scheuch hopes LIA will join Wienerberger as a long-term investor, he said, adding that as chief executive it wasn’t his responsibility to evaluate the political situation in Libya, but rather to ensure the liquidity and good health of the company.