Business news from Ukraine

KOPERNIK GLOBAL INVESTORS INCREASES SHAREHOLDING IN ASTARTA TO 5%

Kopernik Global Investors LLC (the United States) on December 27, 2018 acquired 3,216 shares in the share capital of Astarta Holding NV (the Netherlands), the holding company of the Astarta agricultural and industrial holding, and crossed the 5% threshold of voting rights.
According to a report of Astarta on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE), the holding received the notification on January 2, 2019.
After the deal Kopernik Global Investors holds 1.25 million shares in Astarta or 5% of its share capital.
According to the WSE, Astarta’s shares as of 10:40 Kyiv time on January 4, 2019 were listed at PLN 23.40 per share.
Astarta is a vertically integrated agribusiness holding operating in Poltava, Vinnytsia, Khmelnytsky, Ternopil, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, Cherkasy, and Kharkiv regions. It consists of eight sugar factories, agricultural enterprises with a land bank of about 250,000 hectares and dairy farms.

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ASTARTA HARVESTS 183,000 TONNES OF OILSEEDS

Astarta agroindustrial holding, the largest sugar producer in Ukraine, in 2018 harvested 183,000 tonnes of oilseeds, which is 20% more than a year ago, the company’s press service has reported. “In particular, 67,000 tonnes of soybeans and 116,000 tonnes of sunflower were harvested with an average yield of 2.9 tonnes per ha (2017 – 2.2 tonnes per ha of soybeans and 2.3 tonnes per ha of sunflower, respectively),” the company said.
According to the press service, at present, Astarta continues harvesting corn: 65% of the area is threshed with an average yield of 9 tonnes per ha.
“In general, in the current season, the company expects for the first time to overcome the mark of 1 million tonnes of gross harvest of grain and oilseeds,” the agricultural holding said.
Astarta is a vertically integrated agro-industrial holding operating in Poltava, Vinnytsia, Khmelnytsky, Ternopil, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, Cherkasy and Kharkiv regions.

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LARGEST SUGAR PRODUCER IN UKRAINE ASTARTA HAS 20% FALL IN SALES

Astarta agroindustrial holding, the largest sugar producer in Ukraine, cut sugar sales by 20% in July-September 2018 year-over-year, to 88,040 tonnes.
According to a company report on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) on Wednesday, wheat sales over the period grew by 18%, to 143,680 tonnes, sunflower – by 30%, to 1,250 tonnes, soybean meal – by 6%, to 29,190 tonnes, while maize sales fell by 56.5%, to 10,790 tonnes, barley – by 88.9%, to 640 tonnes, and soybean oil – by 54.6%, to 4,480 tonnes.
Milk sales shrank by 6%, reaching 24,270 tonnes.
Astarta is a vertically integrated agro-industrial holding operating in Poltava, Vinnytsia, Khmelnytsky, Ternopil, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, Cherkasy and Kharkiv regions.

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ASTARTA BUYS BACK 1,710 SHARES FROM AUG 27 THROUGH AUG 31

Astarta Holding N.V. (the Netherlands), the holding company of Astarta holding, in the period from August 27 through August 31, 2018 bought back 1,710 own shares. The average price was PLN 32.99 per share, according to a posting on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE).
According to the WSE, the Astarta’s shares on September 3, 2018 fell by 1.82%, to PLN 32.40 per share ($1 equals PLN 3.6991 using the exchange rate of the National Bank of Poland as of September 3). As reported, the Board of Directors of Astarta Holding N.V. appointed Poland’s brokerage house, Pekao Investment Banking S.A. a buyback agent to carry out the buyback of the company’s shares under the approved program. The buyback program was launched for the purpose of meeting obligations arising the debt financial instruments exchangeable for or convertible into equity instruments and employee share option programs.
On May 25, 2018, the shareholders in Astarta approved the decision to extend the buyback program for another 18 months (from the date of the holding of the general meeting of shareholders). The company could buy back up to 2.5 million shares (up to 10% of outstanding securities) at the price of no more than PLN 125 per share.
Astarta is a vertically integrated agro-industrial holding operating in Poltava, Vinnytsia, Khmelnytsky, Ternopil, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, Cherkasy and Kharkiv regions.

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LARGEST SUGAR PRODUCER TO OPEN THREE NEW SILOS IN POLTAVA REGION

Astarta agroindustrial complex, the largest sugar producer in Ukraine, in July will launch three grain storage complexes in Poltava region: Yareski grain silo (with the capacity of 100,000 tonnes), Lutovynivka grain silo (100,000 tonnes) and Skorokchodove grain silo (30,000 tonnes)
According to the press release of the company, total CAPEХ for the projects was around EUR 32 million.
“Two intake lines with 150 mt/hr capacity each are in operation at Yareski and Lutovynivka silos and one 150 mt/hr line at Skorokchodove silo. All are equipped with an automatic control system and necessary transport infrastructure,” the company said.
The new silos are to operate starting from this harvesting campaign. New facilities are aimed to cover both Astarta subsidiaries’ and local partners’ needs.
With the launching of these three silos, Astarta’s grain storage investment program (started in 2015 aiming at over 500,000 tonnes) is around 70% fulfilled. Thus, the company operates five modern grain silos in Poltava, Vinnytsia and Khmelnytsky regions and plans to undertake further steps aimed at meeting the mentioned program target.

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EBRD COULD PROVIDE $20 MLN LOAN TO ASTARTA

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) could provide a senior secured long-term loan of up to $20 million to finance working capital of Astarta agricultural holding. According to a report on the bank’s website, the decision could be made on June 18.
The project will support the company in development and implementation of cooperation with local universities and schools, contributing to improved access to training and employment opportunities for young people.
In addition, the project is expected to contribute to significant efficiency and productivity gains through introduction of modern IT solutions and farming techniques as well as to support development of stronger backward linkages to local suppliers.
The total cost of the project is $242 million.
As reported, the EBRD in October 2017 provided a $25 million loan for seven years to build and buy sugar and grain storage facilities.
Astarta is a vertically integrated agro-industrial holding operating in Poltava, Vinnytsia, Khmelnytsky, Ternopil, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, Cherkasy and Kharkiv regions.

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