CSM reduces debt by €145m

Related tags Csm Finance

Dutch bakery ingredients giant has reduced its long-term debt by
€145m, the company announced today, as part of its strategy to
improve its balance sheet.

CSM currently places its long-term debt at $486m (€406m).

CSM's debt-reducing activities come against a backdrop of a period of company restructuring, announced last year and expected to bring benefits of €50 million in net savings for the firm over the next two to three years.

The firm repurchased 1,278,772 depositary receipts of financing preference shares, representing an amount of €30m.

It also prepaid €115m on its US Private Placement Notes in 2003.

These activities come after the recent buyback of ordinary shares for €100m in May, followed by the further buyback of €30m last month.

"The repurchase and prepayment represent a further step in optimising CSM's financial structure,"​ said the company in a statement.

The transactions were realised using part of the profit from the sale of CSM's sugar confectionery division in March this year. The unit, which had an annual turnover of €750m, was sold to CVC Capital Partners for €850m.

CSM's stock repurchase leaves the outstanding preference shares at 2,983,794, representing an amount of €70m.

"In compliance with the IFRS the transaction-related costs of €9.6m will be charged to the result for 2005. As a result, the interest charges will decrease proportionally in the coming years,"​ said the company.

CSM announced yesterday that it will cut 65 jobs at its subsidiary Purac Nederland.

Earlier this month, the firm announced the closure of its BakeMark sales office in Finland, and last month sold its operations of BakeMark Sweden to Accent Equity Partners for €8.75m.

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