The Market Court approves that Optiroc acquires Stråbruken

Optiroc Group is permitted to acquire Stråbruken. This became apparent on Friday when The Swedish Market Court passed judgment on the case. The verdict was unanimous and gives Optiroc full freedom to acquire Stråbruken. The dispute between Optiroc and the Swedish Competition Authority, which has been going on for 15 months, is consequently over as the judgment can not be appealed. "Of course, we are happy that the acquisition can be carried through at long last", comments Cornelis Altena, President of Optiroc Group. "This lengthy process has been a burden for the employees in both companies. Furthermore, we have lost both key personnel and approximately SEK 100 M in synergy effects that have not materialized." "Now we will concentrate all our efforts on the merger in order to create peace and quiet in the organization." "It is positive for Stråbruken that this deal can be accomplished", comments Tommy Nilsson of NCC. "Stråbruken now becomes part of a constellation with good prerequisites on the more and more important European market." Stråbruken will be integrated in Optiroc Group's Swedish subsidiary Optiroc AB. For further information, please contact: Cornelis Altena, President of Optiroc Group, telephone +46 8 625 61 15 Facts about the companies and the acquisition: Companies in the Optiroc Group manufacture and market mineral-based building materials for both housing and civil engineering projects utilizing mainly cement-, clay- and sand-based products. The products are divided into three areas - Bricks (facing brick and lime- sand brick), Exclay (lightweight aggregates for primarily building blocks and assembly units, insulation and water purification) and Premix (mainly mortar, dry concrete, spackle, plaster and self-leveling floor compounds). Operations are concentrated to Europe and especially the countries bordering on the Baltic Sea. In 1997, Optiroc Group's sales amounted to approximately SEK 3 billion and the number of employees is slightly more than 2,300. Stråbruken manufactures brick, premixed products and other mineral-based building materials at seven plants in Sweden. Most of the production is sold on the domestic market, but some export is conducted to the Nordic countries and the United Kingdom. In 1997, Stråbruken had sales of approximately SEK 300 M and some 210 employees. In April 1997, Optiroc Group AB acquired Stråbruken AB from NCC. In its examination, the Swedish Competition Authority came to the conclusion that an acquisition would lead to a too dominating position on the markets for floor and paint fillers, dry concrete, mortar, plaster and bricks. Therefore, the Competition Authority demanded that the Stockholm District Court should forbid the acquisition. The Stockholm District Court, however, unanimously approved the acquisition in its entirety on March 19, 1998. The Competition Authority appealed the judgment to The Swedish Market Court. On July 3, 1998, The Swedish Market Court passed judgment that the acquisition is approved in its entirety. ------------------------------------------------------------ Please visit http://www.bit.se for further information The following files are available for download: http://www.bit.se/bitonline/1998/07/03/19980703BIT00090/980703e.doc http://www.bit.se/bitonline/1998/07/03/19980703BIT00090/980703e.pdf

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