FRANKFURT, April 10 Japan's Toyota Tsusho
is acquiring a 39.9 percent stake in loss-making Scholz
AG, part of efforts to put the German metals
recycling group's finances back on a solid footing.
Toyota Tsusho, part of the Toyota group, said in a statement
on Thursday the transaction is expected to close in the second
quarter after final negotiations with Scholz's existing lenders.
Scholz, burdened by 1.1 billion euros ($1.5 billion) of debt
at the end of 2013, has been hit by weak metal and scrap
markets. It has embarked on a restructuring after a period of
rapid expansion and is selling smaller non-core operations and
shutting some sites.
Toyota Tsusho declined to specify how much it paid Scholz's
family owners for the stake.
Toyota Tsusho - which prevailed against rival bids from a
Chinese group and buyout group KKR - will also inject
fresh equity into Scholz, according to a person familiar with
A separate sales process for Scholz's aluminium and
engineering steel businesses is planned to be concluded this
quarter as the group seeks to reduce its debt to 700 million
euros, the source added.
Most of Scholz's debt is in bank loans, some of which have
been bought up by private equity and hedge funds such as
Davidson Kempner, SVP and TPG.
Scholz booked a post-tax loss of 314 million euros in 2013
on revenues of 3.5 billion euros, weighed down by charges
relating to the restructuring. Earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortisation stood at 125 million euros.
($1 = 0.7234 Euros)
(Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Jane