Wienerberger snares Belgium rival

Wienerberger AG has taken over a Belgian competitor, it was announced today (Thurs).The Vienna-based company – the world’s biggest producer of bricks – said it acquired Heylen Bricks. The family business – which has its headquarters in  Veldwezelt – looks back on 100 years of manufacturing bricks.Heylen Bricks has 39 employees and achieved a turnover of 6.2 million Euros last year, according to Wienerberger.Wienerberger executive board chief Heimo Scheuch said: “We want to strengthen our core business. This acquisition is part of our vision.”Scheuch claimed Heylen Bricks would match Wienerberger’s profile “perfectly”. The businessman said the Belgian firm was “an ideal addition” to his company’s network.The Wienerberger boss also praised Heylen Bricks for its “strong distribution structure” in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.Wienerberger achieved earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) of 10.7 million Euros last year after a loss of 258.1 million Euros in 2009.The company has shut 31 factories and laid off 3,300 employees across Europe since autumn 2008 when the number and value of orders started to dwindle due to the recession.Wienerberger has 12,000 employees. One stock of the company was traded for 13.62 Euros at the Vienna Stock Exchange (WBAG) at 11am today, down from 15.19 Euros on 22 February.