Poland blames markets for Lotos sell-off failure

21 December 2011 12:49  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Poland’s Treasury Ministry is to revise its privatisation strategy for Grupa Lotos, the country’s second-largest refiner and a biofuels producer, after receiving no binding bids in an attempted sell-off, the ministry said on Wednesday.

However, it was too early to say if the ministry might agree to the recommendation from some officials involved in the failed privatisation that it should re-explore the possibility of merging Lotos with state-controlled oil, chemicals and petrochemicals group PKN Orlen, a ministry source said.

The merger suggestion has been a point of debate in Poland’s oil and petrochemicals sector for several years, but the ministry has spent this year attempting to find a strategic buyer for its 53.2% stake in Lotos.

In a statement, the Treasury Ministry blamed its failure to find a buyer on “prolonged turbulence in the eurozone, which makes finalising this type of transaction impossible”.

The revision of the privatisation strategy could lead to an alternative plan to sell Lotos shares on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, it added.

Lotos runs the Lotos Biopaliwa biodiesel plant, which has production capacity of 100,000 tonne/year for the biodiesel component fatty acid methyl esters (FAME).

For more on petrochemicals visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Will Conroy
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