Polish government committed to ZAT-ZAP ‘merger of equals’

30 August 2012 14:13  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The Polish government is committed to a “merger of equals” when it comes to the combination of chemical groups Zaklady Azoty Tarnow (ZAT) and Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy (ZAP), a deputy treasury minister said on Thursday.

“We cannot talk about a takeover that is either hostile or competitive, we want this to be a fusion of two equal parties,” said Rafal Baniak.

The treasury ministry is the controlling shareholder in both ZAT and ZAP, the merger of which will, it says, create Europe's second largest fertilizer producer.

A precise plan for the ZAT-ZAP merger should be presented in late September, while European Commission competition approval for the move should be obtained by November, Baniak added.

The treasury ministry has come under pressure from the management, unions and Workers' Council advisory body at ZAP, which point out that ZAP in recent years has achieved a better operational performance and superior profitability compared with ZAT.

The unions and Workers' Council have said that if the companies are to be combined through an acquisition, then if anything it should be ZAP taking over ZAT, rather than vice versa. The management is pushing for a “merger of equals”.

In recent years, ZAT has been used as a vehicle for the ministry's strategy of consolidating major chemical assets that remain in state hands in preparation for fresh attempts to privatise them.

In the past two years, it has taken over multi-component fertilizer and titanium dioxide (TiO2) producer Zaklady Chemiczne Police (ZChP) and nitrogen fertilizer and oxo-alcohols maker Zaklady Azotowe Kedzierzyn (ZAK).

ZAP is a producer of fertilizers, melamine and caprolactam (capro). ZAT produces fertilizers, capro and polyamide 6 (nylon 6).

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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