Lonza back to Swiss bourse after 25 years

Specialty chemicals firm Lonza Group returned to the Swiss stock market on Monday after a quarter-century absence.

This content was published on November 1, 1999 - 14:04

Specialty chemicals firm Lonza Group returned to the Swiss stock market on Monday after a quarter-century absence.

Lonza had been listed on the Swiss bourse until 1974, when it was taken over by what is now Swiss aluminium, packaging and chemicals concern algroup.

Lonza is being spun off again as algroup readies to merge with Canada's Alcan and France's Pechiney into APA, one of the biggest aluminium and packaging concerns.

``The motto is: You just have to have Lonza,'' one trader said, reflecting investors' optimism about Switzerland's largest share placement this year.

Analysts cite sound fundamentals, a strong balance sheet, the inclusion of the shares in the blue-chip Swiss Market Index (SMI) and hopes for a takeover as strong points of the stock.

Algroup stock remains in the SMI pending merger approvals by Alcan shareholders and U.S. and European competition watchdogs. Alcan shareholders vote on the merger on November 22.

``The Lonza stock has a lot of potential,'' Bank Sarasin analyst Denise Anderson said. ``Our original twelve-month target of 970 will probably be reached soon,'' she added, citing the leading position of Lonza in exclusive fine chemicals.

Lonza prides itself on a leading position in the production of fine chemicals for the world's top 20 life science concerns.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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