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Pannonplast raises Synergon stake

In Hungary

Pannonplast Nyrt, a Hungarian maker of yoghurt pots and other plastic packaging, is seeking some control over computer-services provider Synergon Nyrt after spending Ft 768 million ($3.6 million) raising its stake. Pannonplast bought 892,556 Synergon shares on the market for Ft 860 forint each yesterday and on Monday, the company said in a statement yesterday. That increased its stake to 13.5% from the 4.2% of Synergon it previously held. “We'd like to have seats on the board of directors,” Dénes Gyimóthy, Pannonplast's CFO, said in a telephone interview. “It won't be easy as we need to come up with proposals that at least 75% of shareholders will back.” Pannonplast is focusing more on investments in companies in the region after demand for its packaging waned and forced it to sell property and unprofitable units. The Budapest-based company bought its first stake in Synergon in May for an undisclosed sum and is planning to invest Ft 10 billion in the region over the next three years to enhance earnings. Synergon shares rose 3.3% to Ft 888 yesterday in Budapest, valuing the company at Ft 8.5 billion. The company's shares are the best performers in Hungary's benchmark BUX Index this year, gaining 77%. Pannonplast rose 1% to Ft 3,250 in Budapest, giving it market value of Ft 13.7 billion.

Following the latest purchase, Pannonplast and two partners who also own stakes in the plastics company jointly control the largest proportion of Synergon shares. They will vote together at Synergon's general meeting, Pannonplast said in the statement. Lazarus Vagyonkezelő Zrt bought a 1.8% stake and Benji Invest Befektetési és Ingatlanforgalmazói Kft purchased 3%, Pannonplast said. Shareholders of Synergon, which is also based in the Hungarian capital, will meet 8 September to elect new management and supervisory boards. Proposals at a meeting 30 May didn't garner enough support from investors. Pannonplast's purchase included 8.7% of Synergon shares held by RCX Kft, Gyimóthy said yesterday. RCX's managing director is Ferenc Czakó, who co-founded Synergon in 1990 and has been serving as its chairman since 2001. “We support Czakó and we would like to see him continue his work on the board,” Gyimóthy said. Synergon's shareholders also include Austria's Raiffeisen International Bank AG which said July 17 its stake rose to 15.35% from 12.48%. (Bloomberg)

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