Europe's Largest Copper Smelter in Strong Financial Position


"Europe's largest—and the world's third largest—producer of copper metal remains in a strong financial position, only needs access to finance if it contemplates a large acquisition."

Europe's largest copper smelter, Norddeutsche Affinerie (NAFG.DE), is financially well-positioned and would only need new credit if it wanted to make a large acquisition, Chief Executive Bernd Drouven told a German newspaper.

"We are excellently-positioned financially for the running [2008/2009] business year," Drouven said in interview published on Sunday in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. "We would only have to take out new credit for a large acquisition."

Drouven said the financial crisis has created the opportunity for inexpensive takeovers but that Norddeutsche would likely wait. "We're going to wait until the end of the crisis is on the horizon," he said.

The copper smelter bought Belgian peer Cumerio for around 777 million euros ($1.09 billion) early this year and was able to pay for the takeover largely from its cashflow, Drouven said. The deal made Norddeutsche, which will rename itself Aurubis in February, the world's third-largest producer of new copper.

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