Poland considering another attempt at privatisations - ministry

31 January 2011 13:28  [Source: ICIS news]

PRAGUE (ICIS)--Poland is considering another attempt at privatising its stakes in state-controlled chemical companies, but on the stock exchange rather than through further public tenders, the Polish treasury ministry said on Monday.

The move was partly under consideration because the fast-changing economic situation meant that prices suggested at the beginning of a lengthy tender process could be unrealistic by its end, the ministry said.

Such a situation occurred prior to the mid-January cancellation of the tenders for Poland's top fertilizer producers, Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy (ZAP) and Zaklady Chemiczne Police (ZChP), it added.

The failure of the ZAP and ZChP sell-off was the latest in a series of privatisation failures reaching back to October 2006 when officials scrapped a decision to sell caprolactam, plastics and fertilizer producer Zaklady Azotowe Tarnow (ZAT) and fertilizer and oxo-alcohols producer Zaklady Azotowe Kedzierzyn (ZAK) to Germany's PCC.

Contrary to the feelings within the treasury ministry about the low prices offered for ZAP and ZChP, the 2006 bid made by PCC is now seen in hindsight as having been "of reasonable value if you look at what then happened to asset prices in the financial crisis", a ministry source said.

Last year also saw the failure of a further privatisation tender for ZAT and ZAK and the cancellation of a tender for the largest Polish chemical group, Ciech.

All the state-controlled chemical companies have embarked on consolidation and/or restructuring programmes in ministry-backed attempts at building up their value in advance of new sell-off initiatives.

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By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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