October 18, 2018 / 10:47 AM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 1-Hungary's Opus Global and Konzum announce plan to merge

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BUDAPEST, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Hungary’s Opus Global and Konzum plan to merge, the firms announced on Thursday, creating a holding company with a market value of some 350 billion to 400 billion forints ($1.25-1.43 billion).

The businesses, linked to Lorinc Meszaros, an associate of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, said the joint company could produce earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of about 30 billion forints next year.

By market value, it would rank alongside Magyar Telekom , the fourth largest blue chip on the Budapest Stock Exchange at 412 billion forints.

“The implementation of the merger could provide room to realise the significant, regional growth plans of the group,” Konzum said in a stock exchange filing.

The companies aim to close the merger by March 31, 2019.

Trading in Opus and Konzum shares will resume at 1100 GMT, the bourse said in a statement.

Meszaros is the biggest shareholder in Opus with a direct stake of 23.7 percent and directly controls 13.9 percent of Konzum.

The companies’ holdings include hotels, camping sites, agricultural businesses, as well as industrial, media and energy businesses.

The combined entity would target revenue of more than 200 billion forints, up sharply from 77.1 billion forints in combined turnover over the past 12 months, according to an investor presentation.

It would also pay a dividend on 2019 earnings.

$1 = 279.37 forints Reporting by Gergely Szakacs; editing by Jason Neely

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