Poland cancels privatisation of fertilizer makers ZAP, ZChP

17 January 2011 11:28  [Source: ICIS news]

PRAGUE (ICIS)--Poland has cancelled the privatisation of fertilizer producers Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy (ZAP) and Zaklady Chemiczne Police (ZChP) after not receiving any satisfactory offers for the companies, the Polish treasury ministry said on Monday.

A further attempt at privatising Poland’s leading fertilizer makers would be devised after a review is undertaken around March or April, deputy treasury minister Adam Leszkiewicz said.

“There is an improved the situation in the companies’ sector and the financial performance of the companies is pushing up shareholder value. Therefore, the price quotations presented in the offers made by the investors did not reflect the current market value of the companies,” he added.

The ministry neither disclosed who made binding bids nor how many offers there were, stating that some of the bidders had requested anonymity.

Prior to the submission of binding bids, the ministry said there were four preliminary bids for ZAP and two for ZChP.

The only entities that publicly stated their intention to place a binding offer were ZAP, which said it would bid to buy an initial 33% of ZChP; and Spolka Pracownicza Chemia-Pulawy, a company representing ZAP employees, which planned to bid for 50.67% of ZAP.

Last week, a source at Polish chemical group Zaklady Azoty Tarnow (ZAT) confirmed to ICIS that the company would like to look at the possibility of buying a majority stake in ZChP if it were not successfully privatised.

ZAT remains majority owned by the state following last year’s failed attempt to privatise it along with Zaklady Azotowe Kedzierzyn (ZAK) and Ciech, Poland’s largest chemical group.

ZAT has taken a majority share in ZAK as part of moves to restructure and consolidate Poland’s chemical industry, which the treasury ministry anticipates will prefigure its fresh attempts at privatising all of the state’s remaining shareholdings in major chemical firms.

Another aspect of that process was Ciech’s acceptance in December of a bid from ZAP for its 89.46% stake in phosphorous fertilizer unit Fosfory Ciech.

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By: Will Conroy
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