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FCC acquires water management company in Czech Republic


FCC acquires water management company in Czech Republic

FCC, through subsidiary Aqualia, has acquired Czech water company Severomoravské Vodovody a Kanalizace Ostrava, A.S. (SmVaK). The investment is worth 248 million euro.

SmVaK is the third-largest water company in the Czech Republic and the largest in Moravia and Silesia. It also supplies water in Poland and has begun commercial operations in Slovakia.

At 2005 year-end, the company was supplying water to 1.2 million people using 6,000 kilometres of pipe, 42 water treatment plants and 62 sewage plants. The company owns the infrastructure which it manages, so the service provision will be indefinite.

SmVAK is expected to report 57 million euro in revenues and 27 million euro in EBITDA in 2006 (EBITDA margin: 47%). The investment includes assuming 79 million euro in net financial debt, and represents an enterprise value/EBITDA ratio of 9.1.

FCC competed against multinational water companies and infrastructure investment funds to acquire SmVaK. As is customary in this type of transaction, completion is subject to approval by the Czech competition authorities.

The acquisition of SmVaK complements the acquisition of waste management company ASA in March. ASA is firmly established in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and Romania, and has advanced plans to expand into Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Serbia.

These two investments establish FCC as a leading player in water and waste management in Eastern Europe and enable it to accelerate development in a region with strong growth potential.

Both acquisitions are part of FCC's Strategic Plan, presented in April 2005 and supported by the company's principal shareholder, Esther Koplowitz, which involves a programme of acquisitions in the Group's three strategic areas: construction, services and cement.

The Plan aims to double revenues, to 10-12 billion euro, by the end of 2008, expand the international business to 35% of consolidated revenues, and double EBITDA to around 1.5 billion euro.

In the intervening year, FCC has completed seven transactions (including SmVaK) and invested 1.26 billion euro.