By Liz White, UT staffHelsinki-Finnish engineering and construction group Rautaruukki Corp. (Ruukki) wants to buy all of Polish panel maker Metalplast-Oborniki Holding Sp Zoo, with the aim of strengthening its position in the "different stages of the value chain in construction." Ruukki's future strategy is to focus on system and full-scope deliveries, and to grow in central and eastern Europe, the firm pointed out, in a statement on the deal. Ruukki, which was involved in Metalplast's privatisation in 1995, has been a shareholder since then, currently owning 16.6 percent of the maker of sandwich panels for construction.Currently Ruukki has made an offer to acquire the 50 percent holding in Metalplast owned by an international private equity investor group. The deal has to be approved by the relevant authorities before the it can be finalised. Ruukki has also offered to buy the 31 percent holding the Polish State still owns in Metalplast and says it is committed to making an offer for shares owned by management and personnel. The object is to raise its holding in Metalplast to 100 percent..Ruukki describes Metalplast as Poland's leading manufacturer of metal-based construction panels. "Metalplast holds a major market position not only in Poland but also in the Baltic countries and Russia," it says.Metalplast's product range includes sandwich panels used in wall and roof structures with insulating cores of polyurethane, mineral wool or polystyrene between steel sheet. The Finnish firm sees such panels, "used especially in the construction of commercial property" as a "useful addition to Ruukki's existing range of building products and systems."