Polish state bank to seek out buyer for Ciech - Raiffeisen

02 January 2013 16:04  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--A state bank that is to be given a controlling stake in Poland's Ciech is likely to spend up to a year looking for a strategic investor that would buy the shares in the chemical group at a premium, Raiffeisen Centrobank said on Wednesday.

“Only if no such investor is interested in acquiring Ciech from the bank [Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK)] by the end of 2013 do I think Poland will reconsider going for a sale of the stake on the stock market,” said Dominik Niszcz.

“But selling Ciech via the stock exchange would require a large discount, while a control premium would be justified from an investor buying the whole stake in Ciech,” he added.

On 28 December 2012, the Polish Cabinet approved the transfer of the treasury ministry's controlling stake in soda ash producer Ciech — as well as stakes in two other big Polish companies, energy company Polska Grupa Energetyczna and PKO Bank Polski — to Poland's only state-owned bank, BGK, and a special purposed investment vehicle.

Ministers have tasked BGK with selling the stakes to raise capital for financing energy and infrastructure projects to counter the decline in Polish economic growth.

The treasury ministry's stake in Ciech, Europe's second largest soda ash producer behind Belgium-based Solvay, only amounts to 38.7% but comes with voting rights that give the ministry control over the company.

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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