Week in Review

Shareholders of one of Switzerland's biggest corporations, the Algroup, voted on Monday in favour of the financial terms of a merger with Canada's Alcan company.

This content was published on July 22, 2000

Around 500 shareholders attended the group's extraordinary general meeting in Zurich. The merger will be finalised if at least 67 per cent of Algroup's shares are tendered in a swap to begin at the end of August.

The deal should be wrapped up in mid-October. The new group will have revenues of SFr20 billion and will employ 53,000 people.

In another big corporate deal, the luxury goods group, Richemont, acquired Les Manufactures Horlogères (LMH) for almost SFr3 billion. LMH owns the International Watch Company outright, 90 per cent of A. Lange & Soehne and 60 per cent of Jaeger-LeCoultre.

Richemont also paid SFr280 million for the outstanding 40 per cent stake in Jaeger-LeCoultre.

The deal ended a fierce bidding war between Richemont and its rivals, Gucci, and Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

The beverage producer, Feldschlösschen, announced an agreement with the American soft drinks giant, Coca-Cola, this week. It means that Feldschlösschen will take over a large part of Coca-Cola's production for the domestic market.

The Swiss New Market Index celebrated its first birthday this week. Despite a volatile 12 months in new economy shares, analysts agree that the infant index has been a success.

Fourteen companies are now listed with a total market capitalisation of SFr13 billion. The index reached 2,400 points in March before tumbling as high-technology companies lost some of their appeal. It's now hovering at around 1,600 points.

The Swiss-Swedish technology giant, ABB, said this week that net profit for 2000 should be well above that for 1999.

The company made its estimate after publishing better than expected half-yearly results. Net profit was up 16 per cent at SFr1.16 billion.

by Michael Hollingdale

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