Polish treasury considers postponing chems sell-off

16 September 2011 13:25  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Poland is set to postpone an end-of-September relaunch of the privatisation of strategic chemical producers, the Polish treasury ministry said on Friday.

The deterioration in recent months of the global economic situation and stock markets had persuaded privatisation officials that a decision on whether the sell-off could attract acceptable offers may have to be taken at a later, unspecified date, it added.

This year has seen the officials work on new proposals for privatising controlling stakes in companies including Poland's largest fertilizer producer and the third-largest melamine maker in the world, Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy (ZAP); Europe's second-largest soda ash producer Ciech, and the Zaklady Azoty Tarnow (ZAT) group, which includes fertilizer, caprolactam (capro), nylon 6 (or polyamide 6) and oxo-alcohol units.

Since late 2006, Poland has abandoned two sets of chemical industry privatisations after receiving unsatisfactory offers.

However, following a round of consolidation of remaining unsold chemical industry assets, the treasury ministry had been hopeful that a third wave would be successful.

The consolidation has seen ZAT take over from Ciech as Poland's largest chemical group by revenue, following its acquisition of controlling stakes in fertilizer producer and titanium dioxide (TiO2) maker Zaklady Chemiczne Police (ZChP) and fertilizer and oxo-alcohols maker Zaklady Azotowe Kedzierzyn (ZAK).

Another aspect of the consolidation was ZAP's purchase of an 89.46% stake in phosphorous fertilizer unit Fosfory Ciech from Ciech.

On 8 September, state-controlled refining and petrochemical group PKN Orlen said it stood ready to cancel the planned end-of-year sale launch for nitrogen fertilizer and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) producer Anwil should the faltering world economic recovery drag down the subsidiary's valuation.

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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