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Wienerberger invests again in the UK

11. January 2008

Wienerberger takes majority stake in Sandtoft, the third largest roof tile producer in the UK 

Wienerberger AG, the world's largest producer of bricks and the number two in clay roof tiles in Europe has secured a 74% stake in Sandtoft. Sandtoft, a family-owned company founded in 1904, headquartered in Sandtoft near Leeds and managed by the Oldridge family, is the third largest producer of roof tiles in Great Britain and market leader in the large clay tile segment. 417 employees generated GBP 42 million in revenue in 2007 in Sandtoft's four plants in England (Broomfleet, Sandtoft, Goxhill, Heckmondwike).

By taking this majority stake Wienerberger is able to develop a strong presence on the growing UK clay roof tile market which up to now has been serveded by its plants in Belgium, France and Germany. This is already Wienerberger's second UK investment within the last months having bought Baggeridge, a leading UK bricks manufacturer for GBP 100 million in August 2007.

Sandtoft has become recognised as the industry innovator with a series of highly successful clay tiles and Simon Oldridge, Managing Director of Sandtoft comments: "Together we will be able to realise synergies and significantly improve our position and product offering to even better meet the challenges of the future."

Wienerberger was founded in 1819 in Vienna and at present has 250 production plants in 25 countries and employs 13,600 people. It is world market leader for hollow bricks and facing bricks and No 2 in Europe for clay roof tiles. Wienerberger has been working in the UK for many years and operates 9 manufacturing sites in the UK. Its leading brands are Terca facing bricks and Koramic clay roof tiles.
Wienerberger's investment adds to the significant presence of Austrian companies in the UK: The UK is the sixth most favoured destination for Austrian foreign direct investment Austrian-owned assets were valued at €3.156 million at the end of 2005). The UK was also the fourth largest foreign investor in Austria in 2005 with investment flows of €4.732 million. There are currently around 220 Austrian-owned subsidiaries in Britain, employing over 11,000 people. Meanwhile, British companies employ over 8,600 people in Austria.