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C.S. Cargo may sell shares to finance expansion plans

C.S. Cargo Holding NV, a provider of logistics services in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Russia, may sell new and existing shares within three years to expand in eastern Europe.

The company, partially owned by UniCredito Italiano SpA, may use funds from the share sale for acquisitions in countries including Poland and Romania, Vladimir Bystrov, C.S. Cargo's spokesman, said in a phone interview today. The number of companies operating in the Czech Republic that turn to the capital markets to raise funds for east Europe expansion is rising. The Prague Stock Exchange expects as many as five initial public offerings this year, CEO Petr Koblic said in January 16 interview. Two companies listed on bourse last year and none joined in 2005. Using money from the sale of new and existing shares, C.S. Cargo plans to expand „into other markets in the region of central and eastern Europe, mainly the new European Union member states,” Martin Vesely, a company board member, said in a statement.

The company's shareholders plan to sell an unspecified amount of shares in the „mid-term,” which Bystrov characterized as 2 or 3 years. UniCredito bought its 30% stake in C.S. Cargo for an undisclosed price, C.S. Cargo said in today's statement. The remaining 70% is owned by Trifid International NV, a closely held financial services group. C.S. Cargo had a turnover of 2.8 billion koruna (€99 million) in 2006, compared with some 2 billion koruna in the previous year, the company said. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization reached 270 million koruna last year. (Bloomberg)