AGRANA – Board of Management to ask for Increase in Authorized Capital

Date: 15.10.2004

The Board of Management of AGRANA Beteiligungs-Aktiengesellschaft will be asking an extraordinary general meeting of the company’s shareholders on 5 November 2004 to pass an anticipatory resolution authorizing a future increase in capital.  The application will request authorization of the Board of Management to increase the company’s share capital—subject to the Supervisory Board’s consent—by a maximum of € 23.074 million by issuing up 3.175 million ordinary shares.  If fully used, that authorized capital framework would make it possible to increase the company’s share capital by up to 28.8 per cent in the period ending 31 December 2006.

The Board of Management is citing the group’s dynamic growth strategy as its reason for requesting the increase in authorized capital.  Having acquired the Atys Group, Denmark’s Vallø Saft and Steirerobst, AGRANA has within a very short period developed its new fruit juice concentrates and fruit preparations division.  It is now taking over Germany’s WINK Group—a major manufacturer of fruit juice concentrates—and Belgium’s Dirafrost Frozen Fruit Industries.

AGRANA is the world’s leader in fruit preparations and intends to continue to build up its positions in various countries.  Moreover, it is also aiming for further growth in the fruit juice concentrates and starch segments. 
The capital framework being asked for by the Board of Management will allow the group to sustain its dynamic growth strategy while still maintaining its solid capital base.

The asked-for resolution by the extraordinary general meeting of shareholders would give Board of Management the option of carrying out a capital increase via the stock market.  Following the conversion of the group’s preference shares into ordinary shares in 2002, a capital increase would be another step forward in enhancing the AGRANA share’s market attractiveness.