Poland's Ciech faces €108m assets write-down, prepares lay-offs

19 July 2012 16:18  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Poland's Ciech is set to announce an impairment charge on assets of around zlotych (Zl) 450m ($132m, €108m) in its second-quarter results, Europe's second largest soda ash maker said on Thursday.

Restructuring plans under preparation at the group also meant that around 10% of its 6,000 employees would be laid off, it added.

Burdened by the repayment schedule on debts of Zl1.3m, Ciech is pursuing a new debt reduction programme that aims to cut the net debt to earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) ratio from 4.1 this year to 2.0 in 2015, the company said.

On 12 July, sources at Poland's treasury ministry, which owns a controlling stake in Ciech, conceded that negotiations to sell the group to Czech billionaire Zdenek Bakala were not likely to result in a bid.

Ciech is open to offers for loss-making toluene di-isocyanate (TDI), epichlorohydrin (ECH) and epoxy resins unit Zachem and has said it may close the subsidiary if a buyer is not found.

In May, Dariusz Krawczyk was appointed the new CEO of Ciech, after it was decided he was the best candidate to complete the group's restructuring prior to a fresh attempt at privatisation.

In January, the treasury ministry cancelled a tender to select an adviser for the privatisation, saying the economic situation was too “volatile and unpredictable” to guarantee that the sale process would fetch reasonably priced bids.

Ciech is scheduled to report its second-quarter results on 31 August.

($1 = Zl3.40, €1 = Zl4.17)


By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214



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