Slovakia's bankrupt NCHZ to be bought by year end - administrator

19 August 2010 12:00  [Source: ICIS news]

PRAGUE (ICIS news)--A buyer for bankrupt Slovak calcium carbide producer Novacke Chemicke Zavody (NCHZ) will hopefully be found by the end of this year through a newly-announced international public tender, the administrator of the company said on Thursday.

The company went into receivership in October 2009 after being hit by a €19.6m ($25.1m) fine from the European Commission for cartel activities, but it had remained a viable business and important exporter, according to a statement from the Slovak Administration and Restructuring Agency.

Adverts for the tender were set to run in international publications The Economist and Wirtschaftspress as well as Czech financial daily Hospodarske Noviny, it added.

Applicants would have until September 2 to register their interest.

Despite the bankruptcy proceedings, the company had continued production and had not laid off any of its workforce of around 1,750 employees, the administrator said.

Following the imposition of what NCHZ called the "exterminatory" fine, the Slovak state took protective control of NCHZ from Cyprus-based Disor Holdings Limited under a controversial new Strategic Enterprises Act.

However, the economy ministry said the government was not interested in long-term state ownership of NCHZ.

For 2009, the company reported a net profit of €363,000 and turnover of almost €230m.

Located in Novaky, northern Slovakia, NCHZ also makes magnesium-based reagents and produces and processes chlorine.

($1 = €0.78)

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By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214



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