Ljubljana, Monday, September 10, 2018 – SIJ Group and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have discussed their current cooperation and opportunities for future cooperation.
SIJ Group Management Board headed by Andrey Zubitskiy, President of the Management Board, met with an EBRD delegation led by Charlotte Ruhe, EBRD Managing Director, Central and South Eastern Europe. As part of her working visit to Slovenia, Ms Ruhe visited the headquarters of SIJ Group, Slovenia's largest metallurgical group, to discuss the Bank’s current and future cooperation.
At the meeting they discussed the Group's performance since privatisation in 2007 and its position in the steel sector. As one of the largest producers of stainless and special steels in the European Union, SIJ Group is present in niche steel markets with high added value, which means it is very resilient to pressure on steel prices and produced volumes. This enables the largest steel producer in Slovenia to maintain operations constant also in times of trade uncertainty at global markets, as witnessed this year.
The cooperation between the SIJ Group and EBRD started in 2015, when the Bank invested in five-year bonds issued by SIJ, the first such investment issued in Slovenia by the international financial institution. In 2017, the parties continued to expand their cooperation when the EBRD was part of a consortium of seven banks managed by the UniCredit Group that signed a long-term agreement for a five-year syndicated loan.
“We are pleased that such a renowned international financial institution as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development recognises SIJ Group as a strong Slovenian business partner. With the signature of the syndicated loan in 2017, we have ensured a long-term unified financial structure and laid the foundations for future development. We have great interest in a future cooperation and new joint projects,” said Igor Malevanov, Member of the Management Board and CFO, SIJ Group.
Charlotte Ruhe, EBRD Managing Director, Central and South Eastern Europe expressed EBRD’s appreciation about the SIJ Group’s performance: “We are very pleased that we decided to invest in your company in 2015 and had the opportunity to extend the cooperation last year. SIJ Group is an excellent example of a successful privatisation and also an example of success in the Slovenian economy. It was my pleasure to meet the Management Board today and I expect our successful cooperation to deliver more excellent results.”
EBRD has invested approximately EUR 1 billion in more than 80 projects so far. The Bank intends to offer investment to support local economy and policy engagement in accordance with local authorities. Slovenia has great potential and strong companies and the EBRD is interested in fostering further growth.
The SIJ Group is the largest Slovenian vertically integrated metallurgical group, whose products occupy leading positions on the European and global niche steel markets. The Group consists of two core business areas – metallurgy (core business) and poultry division (Perutnina Ptuj Group). According to first unaudited business results of the first half of 2018, the metallurgy and poultry division have generated sales revenues of EUR 557.8 million, an operating profit (EBITDA) of EUR 57.4 million.
The EBRD is a multilateral bank committed to the development of market-oriented economies and the promotion of private and entrepreneurial initiative in more than 35 countries on the Europe, Asia and Africa continents. The Bank is owned by 67 countries, the European Union and the European Investment Bank.
SIJ – Slovenian Steel Industry, d.d.
Mag. Sara Wagner, Head of Corporate Communication
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