Romania’s govt extends Oltchim privatisation bid deadline to 21 Sept

17 September 2012 14:27  [Source: ICIS news]

BUCHAREST (ICIS)--Romania’s government on Monday further extended the deadline for receiving preliminary bids in the sale of its 54.8% stake in chemical producer Oltchim to 21 September.

The economy ministry pushed back the deadline from 18 September following a lawsuit initiated by group of small shareholders that challenged the government's plan to sell Oltchim's debt together with its stake. Potential investors were worried about the possible impact this lawsuit would have on the privatisation process.

Some interested parties also asked for a delay in order to issue all the documents necessary for the bid, according to a government spokesperson.

An indicative price of New Lei 1.147bn ($335m, €255m) has been set by the ministry for its 54.8% stake in Oltchim.

Four investors have already submitted non-binding offers for the state’s controlling stake. These include Germany-based chemical producer PCC, a firm that already owns around 18% of Oltchim; Romania-based AISA Invest and Chimcomplex; and businessman and media owner, Dan Diaconescu, who said he is a representative of an unnamed company.

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

In recent months, the Romanian government has been pushing forward with a privatisation timetable for the disposal of its majority stake, as part of a commitment to economic restructuring being carried out in consultation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Based at Ramnicu Valcea in southern Romania, Oltchim produces caustic soda, petrochemicals, agrochemicals, inorganic products and building materials, including insulating PVC for panels, doors and window frames.

PCC and Cyprus-based Nachbar Services own 18.3% and 14.3% of Oltchim, respectively. Smaller shareholders held the balance.

($1 = New Lei 3.42, €1 = New Lei 4.49)

By: Marian Chiriac
+44 20 8652 3214

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