Russia’s Acron to consider increasing offer for Poland’s ZAT

01 June 2012 13:09  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Russian mineral fertilizer producer Acron Group will next week hold meetings with shareholders in Zaklady Azoty Tarnow (ZAT) prior to a decision on whether to increase its bid for the Polish chemical group, Acron said on Friday.

Acron’s current offer for 66% of ZAT, totalling zlotych (Zl) Zl1.5bn ($422.5m, €342.5m), at a price of Zl36 per share, has been described as too low by ZAT and various shareholders, including pension fund AVIVA which owns a stake of 9%.

When originally announcing its offer to shareholders, Acron said it would go ahead with the purchase of shares in ZAT if shareholders owning 50% plus one share accepted its offer during the bid window, running from 6 June to 22 June.

However, Acron announced it has decided to increase the buy threshold to 66%.

All the unions with members at ZAT — Poland’s largest chemical group by revenue, and a producer of nitrogen and multi-component fertilizers, caprolactam (capro), nylon 6 (polyamide 6), nitrogen fertilizer, oxo-alcohols and titanium dioxide (TiO2) — have publicly stated their opposition to Acron ownership of the company.

They argue that Acron could use the ZAT name to develop openings for its own Russian fertilizer products in EU markets, while reducing fertilizer production at ZAT’s plants in Poland.

Acron, however, said it is intent on expanding the production of both itself and ZAT, while ZAT would also benefit from Acron’s access to cheaper feedstock materials.

The ZAT group produces nitrogen and multi-component fertilizers, caprolactam (capro), polyamide 6, oxo-alcohols, plasticisers and titanium dioxide (TiO2).

ZAT, which had 2011 revenues of Zl5.3 bn, is controlled by voting at the board level by Poland's treasury ministry, which retains a 32.05% stake in the group.

($1 = €0.81, $1 = Zl3.55, €1 = Zl4.38)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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