Condom maker SSL to buy BLBV in $287 mln deal - FT

LONDON, March 30 Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:37pm EDT

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LONDON, March 30 (Reuters) - SSL International Plc SSL.L, maker of Durex condoms, is expected to take control of a firm which sells condoms in the former Soviet Union countries, and buy the rest of the company early next year, the Financial Times said on Monday without citing sources.

SSL already has a 15.5 percent stake in BLBV and has the option to increase that to 50 percent plus one share, exercisable in April.

The FT said SSL is expected to raise its stake to more than 50 percent this week and to acquire the rest of the shares early next year, which would take the cost of the deal to about 200 million pounds ($287 million).

The deal would make Russia SSL's second-biggest market, the newspaper said.

In January SSL, which also makes Scholl foot products, raised 87.3 million pounds ($125 million) in a share placing to fund a possible increase of its stake in Beleggingsmaatschappij Lemore BV (BLBV), which distributes condoms in the Commonwealth of Independent States' markets excluding Ukraine. ($1=.6984 Pound) (Reporting by Olesya Dmitracova)

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