by Mark O’Byrne, Gold Core:
– Heraeus gold and precious metals refinery buys Swiss refinery Argor-Heraeus
– Heraeus reported to have paid “few hundred million euros for the remaining Argor shares”
– Argor-Heraeus “goodwill” alone reported to have been valued at over “half a billion Swiss francs”
– Global technology & precious metals refiner Heraeus will acquire stakes from Commerzbank and Austrian Mint
– Heraeus involved with Argor-Heraeus since 1986
– Swiss refinery Argor Heraeus once fully-owned by UBS
– Heraeus to profit from Argor’s competence for gold and silver refining and international footprint
– Prudent Germans know history and love gold
eraeus, the family owned German global technology and precious metals refining company has announced that it is to buy one of Switzerland’s largest gold and silver refineries, Argor-Heraeus.
Heraeus gold and precious metals refinery is one of the world’s largest provider of precious metals services and Heraeus gold bars are some of the most trusted gold bars in the markets.
It is rumoured to have agreed to pay some €300 million for the 67% stake, taking its total holdings up to 100%. According to the Handelsblatt, goodwill alone “was estimated at around half a billion Swiss francs.”
The move by Heraeus gold refinery to buy the remaining 67% does not change the face of Argor-Heraeus from a Swiss-based refinery to a German one. Whilst is headquartered in Mendrisio (Ticino, Switzerland) it has ‘international branch offices in Germany, Italy and Chile.’
Argor’s gold refining is not purely Swiss either, Argor-Heraeus operates gold refining and gold bar production facilities in Hanau, Hong Kong, and Newark (New Jersey).
The Argor-Heraeus company was founded in 1951 and in 1973 the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) acquired full ownership of the refinery. Hereaus has held a stake in the Swiss refinery since 1986 when UBS and Heraeus Group (Germany) formed a joint venture, creating Argor-Heraeus SA.
Since 1999 UBS has not been involved and Argor-Heraeus has been owned by private companies, with Heraeus holding 33% of Argor-Heraeus shares, Commerzbank holding 32.7% of the equity, the Austrian Mint holding another 30%, and Argor-Heraeus’s management holding the balance of shares.
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