Russia’s firm Acron settles for minority stake in Poland's ZAT

17 July 2012 16:54  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Russia's Acron Group has opted to become a minority shareholder in Poland's largest chemical producer Zaklady Azoty Tarnow (ZAT) after seeing its hopes of taking over the company dashed, Acron said on Wednesday.

Acron's zlotych (Zl) 1.96bn ($574.8m, €467.8m) offer for 66% of ZAT was derailed by ZAT's move to merge with fellow Polish chemical producer Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy (ZAP), a move supported by the controlling shareholder in the two firms, Poland's treasury ministry.

However, Acron, a mineral fertilizer producer, will be purchasing the shares that have been offered to it during its bid which expired on Monday, the company said.

The precise size of Acron's minority stake in ZAT would be announced on Thursday 19 July, it added.

“Upon settlement of the transaction, we will become a minority shareholder of ZAT,” said Vladimir Kantor, vice president of Acron.

“As we have stated many times, we support the directions for growth of the entire group presented by the management board in its long-term growth strategy, and we are ready to actively participate in implementing it,” he added.

Kantor said Acron would particularly like to offer ZAT “operational cooperation in the supply of raw materials and access to our well-developed logistics infrastructure".

A source at the treasury ministry said Acron had pushed ahead with its offer for ZAT despite several times being advised by Polish officials that the bid was not welcome.

Poland is not minded to allow Russian bidders to take control of certain strategic companies, and the ZAT group qualifies as one of those, partly because we would not want to surrender its quite substantial gas purchasing to Russian control,” the source said.

($1 = Zl3.41, €1 = Zl4.19)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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