The week in business: 3 June


Umicore finalises sale of zinc activities, Chinese buy 14% stake in Eandis and an overview of the rest of the week's business news

Metals – Umicore

The Brussels-based non-ferrous metals group has finalised the sale of its zinc activities to the US OpenGate Capital investment fund for € 142 million.

Energy – Eandis
China’s SGCC, the world’s largest operator of electricity networks, is acquiring a 14% stake in Eandis, operator of Flanders’ electric and gas grids, for more than €500 million.

Transport – Exmar
The Antwerp-based tanker operator is expected to supply a floating gas liquefying unit to Iran as part of a $600 million contract between Norway’s Hemla Vantage and Iran’s Kharg Petrochemical. The unit would allow Iran to start exports of its gas resources, following the end of the embargo.

Household – Ecover
The producer of eco-friendly household cleaning and personal care products, based in Malle, Antwerp province, has sold its French unit, located in Boulogne, to the Vandeputte oil and soap producer, headquartered in Mouscron, Wallonia.

Food – Vandemoortele
The Vandemoortele family, which owns a majority stake in the Ghent-based food products manufacturer of the same name, has acquired the 23.5% stake owned by the Flanders investment fund Gimv for more than €180 million. Gimv had stepped in with a €75 million loan in 2009 to help the company finance its development.

Gas transport – Fluxys
The operator of the country’s gas network has inaugurated a pipeline connecting the gas terminals of Zeebrugge and Dunkirk, France, to allow additional flexibility in supply and flow management. The new pipeline has a capacity of eight million cubic metres a year.

Catering – Poilâne
The world-famous French bakery is opening an outlet in Wijnegem, near Antwerp, this summer as part of the new Kanaal development project.  

Photo courtesy Eandis