30 January 2013 12:08 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Poland’s treasury ministry has approved the bid of Poland-based chemical group Zaklady Azoty Tarnow (ZAT) for its 85% stake in sulphur mining company Zaklady Chemiczne Siarkopol, the ministry said on Wednesday.
ZAT has been selected ahead of three other bidders, namely Jersey-based Core Minerals Private Limited, a subsidiary of Indian oil, mining, chemicals, shipping and building materials group Archean, and Poland’s Kamienna Gora Granite Mine and Dolomite Mine companies, it added.
Siarkopol’s entire annual output of approximately 300,000 tonnes/year of liquid sulphur is currently purchased by the ZAT group, Europe’s second largerst fertilizer producer, as feedstock for its fertilizer production.
The treasury ministry said it hoped to finalise the sale to ZAT – now trading under the brand name Grupa Azoty in a build-up to a group re-launch following a series of takeovers – in the second quarter, contingent on the approval of anti-monopoly regulators.
The accepted bid price was not disclosed by the ministry, but WOOD & Company investment bank estimated it was probably around zloty (Zl) 300m ($96.8m, €71.6m).
“While we do not expect to see a material cut in ZAT’s sulphur price following the acquisition, Siarkopol, Poland's only liquid sulphur production site, introduces greater raw feedstock integration and input security to the ZAT group by ensuring continued access to the sulphur deposits,” the bank said in a note to clients.
Export sales account for about three-quarters of Siarkopol’s sales revenues, with customers based in places including the Mediterranean Sea Basin, western Europe, China, Brazil, Indonesia and India, it added.
Siarkopol, based in Grzybow, southeastern Poland, is also notable for the Osiek sulphur mine, the only mine in the world where sulphur is extracted using the underground melting method.
($1 = €0.74, $1 = Zl 3.10, €1 = Zl 4.19)
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