Romania privatisation head resigns after collapse of Oltchim sale

04 October 2012 15:10  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The head of Romania's privatisation agency (OPSPI) has resigned following the collapse of the Oltchim sell-off, the OPSPI said on Thursday.

Remus Vulpescu submitted his resignation in the wake of the winning bid in the Oltchim privatisation auction, received from media tycoon and politician Dan Diaconescu, being thrown out by the Romanian government on 1 October, it added.

Vulpescu maintained that the privatisation procedures were in line with legislation but that they had been “circumvented”, the OPSPI said.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta refused to continue negotiations with Diaconescu after the €45m ($57.7m) pledged in his bid was not handed over within the legally required 10-day period.

Diaconescu, who was criticised by Ponta for creating a “circus” out of the sell-off process – after he arrived at the economy ministry with €2m that he claimed could help pay unpaid workers at chemical company Oltchim – is to be investigated for alleged offences including falsifying documents for his bid.

In the meantime, a legal complaint that the government mishandled the privatisation is being pursued by Diaconescu.

On Wednesday, the government said Oltchim will now be privatised via direct negotiation with a major investor, subject to approval of the move being obtained from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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

($1 = €0.78)


By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214



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