Poland's Orlen assembles team to aid lossmaking Czech unit Unipetrol

30 November 2012 17:16  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Poland's PKN Orlen has assembled a management team tasked with finding ways to turn around the fortunes of its lossmaking Czech petrochemical and refining subsidiary Unipetrol, Orlen's CEO said on Friday.

Orlen certainly had no plans to sell its controlling 63% stake in the company, CEO Jacek Krawiec said, after releasing Orlen's five-year 2013-2017 strategy.

The Czech government had expressed its hope that efforts could be made to turn Unipetrol into a “Czech champion” and Polish and Czech managers would work to re-establish the profitability of the company, Krawiec added.

The Orlen group is also looking to partner with world-class investors to develop its petrochemical businesses but it was too early to go into specifics, the CEO said.

On 22 October, Prague-based investment bank WOOD & Company downgraded its recommendation on the stock of Orlen from ‘Hold’ to ‘Sell’, noting difficulties with nonperforming subsidiaries including Unipetrol.

The bank described Unipetrol as a major trouble spot in Orlen's operations.

Orlen said it has appealed to the Czech government for help in reducing the fees it must pay on oil that Unipetrol sources from pipelines.

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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