Germany's PCC confirms plans to bid for Romania's Oltchim

05 September 2012 17:16  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)—Germany's PCC is one of the two unnamed companies that Romania's government says are interested in acquiring a majority stake in lossmaking state chemical company Oltchim, the chemical, energy and logistics group said on Wednesday.

Prior to a government meeting in Bucharest, Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta said two large investors from different geographical areas have expressed their interest in bidding for the Romanian state's 54.8% stake in the company at an auction scheduled for 18 September.

Securing a good owner for the company is vital to protecting the jobs of the company's workforce of nearly 3,500, the prime minister added.

PCC, which already owns 18% of Oltchim, confirmed that it would bid for the stake, as well as a package of company debt owed to the state of approximately New Lei 1.8bn ($504.2m, €400.9m).

The debt is to be offered because the state could not obtain an agreement from Oltchim shareholder to convert the debt into shares, according to Romania's economy ministry.

The state's 54.8% stake is comprised of 188m shares. An indicative price of New Lei 0.1 per share share – representing a total of New Lei 1.147bn - has been set for the auction.

Earlier on Wednesday, the CEO of Oltchim, Constantin Roibu, and his management team resigned their posts, citing a lack of dialogue on the future of the company, which has been placed into special administration, with the economic ministry.

Production at Oltchim has been severely restricted for more than a year, with the company suffering from a lack of working capital to secure supplies of feedstocks.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has advised the Romanian government that Oltchim should be privatised as part of the economic restructuring of the country.

Oltchim’s main products are polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyols, dioctyl phthalate (DOP) and caustic soda.

($1 = €0.80)

($1 = New Lei 3.57, €1 = New Lei 4.49)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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