Poland to continue with efforts to privatise chemical companies

08 July 2010 13:29  [Source: ICIS news]

PRAGUE (ICIS news)--Privatisation remains the only option for the development of Poland’s chemical industry, despite the failed efforts this year to sell off companies, the country’s deputy treasury minister said on Thursday.

“Privatisation is still the only alternative for the Polish chemical sector and we are determined to continue…let me emphasise that privatisation is our priority, because it gives real opportunities for growth,” said Deputy Treasury Minister Adam Leszkiewicz.

In the wake of the failure to privatise those companies that were up until now part of the so-called Group I category of producers, the treasury ministry said it listened to some parties who were calling for privatisation to be abandoned in favour of consolidating state-held companies into larger, stronger groups.

The Group I companies were Ciech, Poland’s largest chemical maker, and smaller players Zaklady Azotowe Tarnow (ZAT) and Zaklady Azotowe Kedzierzyn (ZAK).

Leszkiewicz said that there were clearly “opportunities for synergy between these companies and we welcome all attempts made by them to work out ideas for possible consolidation, [but] this does not stand in conflict with our current privatisation efforts”.

“On the contrary,” he added, “consolidation may contribute to strengthening the companies and increasing their attractiveness for potential investors.”

Poland is currently pushing ahead with the privatisation of its top two fertilizer makers, Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy (ZAP) and Zaklady Chemiczne Police (ZChP).

ZAP and ZChP were initially to be offered together as part of the Group II companies, but Leszkiewicz stressed that the treasury ministry had by now “departed from the concept of ‘Chemical Groups’.”

The two companies would now be privatised separately, as would be the companies that were previously part of Group I, he said.

However, the consolidation process could soon see ZAT take over ZAK and Fosfory Ciech, which is the phosphorous fertilizer unit of Ciech.

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By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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