Poland halts chemical industry privatisation programme

07 September 2012 10:54  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Poland has put its programme for privatising major state chemical industry assets on indefinite hold, the Polish treasury ministry said on Friday.

The privatisation strategy, which had envisaged a sale of the assets before the end of 2013, has now taken a back seat while officials work on consolidating the country’s two most prominent chemical groups, Zaklady Azoty Tarnow (ZAT) and Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy (ZAP), in a “merger of equal partners”, it added. 

Following the successful consolidation of these companies and other chemical firms that remain in state hands, such as Ciech, officials would return to the question of a privatisation timetable, the ministry said.

On Monday, the ministry said the merger strategy might be to put ZAP in charge of fertiliser production, while ZAT would look after the chemical production portfolio.

On a visit to ZAP’s main production complex in Pulawy, eastern Poland, on Thursday, Polish treasury minister Mikolaj Budzanowski said he believed the ZAP and ZAT boards could come up with a detailed merger plan within a few weeks.

Competition approval for the merger from the European Commission could take a few months to come through, he added.

The treasury estimates that the combined fertilizer divisions of ZAP and ZAT would make up the second largest fertiliser business in Europe.

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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