German firm takes over Wienerberger’s Bramac stake

German building company Monier has taken over an Austrian roofing expert in full, it was announced today (Tues).Viennese brick maker Wienerberger AG said Oberursel-based Monier has taken over its interest in Bramac. Wienerberger held a 50 per cent interest in Bramac which has its headquarters in Pöchlarn, Lower Austria.Part of the deal is a 40-million-Euro payment to Wienerberger. Monier also handed over its 25 per cent share in Styrian roofing company Tondach Gleinstätten AG. Wienerberger now holds 50 per cent in the Gleinstätten-based company.Wienerberger boss Heimo Scheuch described the agreement as an “important strategic step” which should enable his firm to increase its renovation business activities in Eastern Europe (EE).Wienerberger is the world’s biggest producer of bricks. It is just one of four companies which have been listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange (WBAG) without any interruptions since 1991. One Wienerberger share cost 15.23 Euros at 10am today.Wienerberger suffered losses of 13.5 million Euros in the first nine months of 2010 following losses of 198.2 million Euros in the same period of the previous year. Its earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) declined from 36.7 to 17.6 million Euros year on year, while turnover dropped by five per cent to 1.34 billion Euros.The company, which has around 12,000 staff, explained in November that the situation in Central Europe remains tense due to little construction activity and poor demand for building material. The firm however also pointed out that things were looking better for its operations in Northern and Western Europe.Wienerberger closed 31 factories and dismissed around 2,500 workers in various countries in a reaction to a significant decline in orders and building activity in 2009.