Czech brewer set fair for financial restructuring

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Interbrew's Czech brewery Prazske Pivovary has completed the first
stage of its financial restructuring designed to help increase its
share capital and provide cash for future developments.

The financial restructuring of Czech brewer Prazske Pivovary announced by the company's owner, Interbrew, earlier this year, is continuing apace with the successful issue of over 120 million new shares.

The share issue, which was limited to existing shareholders in the brewery, best known for its Staropramen brand, was designed to increase PP's share capital to CKr3.4 billion (€0.1bn), reports the CTK​ news agency.

A public offer of PP shares is also planned for later in the year. The restructuring is designed to help the Czech firm reduce its debts and provide it with working capital for future developments.

The first round of share issues was reserved for existing shareholders, who were allowed to subscribe for seven shares, worth a nominal CKr25 each, for every PP share they already owned.

Interbrew, which acquired PP as part of its takeover of the Bass group in the UK, submitted the proposal for financial restructuring for approval by shareholders in April this year. At the start of the subscription, the Belgian brewer held 96.87 per cent of the firm's shares.

The share issue was preceded by a reduction in the nominal value of all PP shares from CKr100 to CKr25, and the resulting decline in the company's share capital to CKr429m, in order to settle accumulated losses from previous years.

Prazske Pivovary posted a CKr38 million profit in the first half of 2002, compared to losses of CKr105 million a year earlier. First-half sales rose 11.6 per cent to CKr1.409 billion.

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