19 March 2013 11:47 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Poland's treasury ministry has firmed its grip on chemical group Zaklady Azoty Tarnow (ZAT) with the adoption of board measures restricting the voting powers of other shareholders, the ministry said on Monday.
ZAT's board had passed a resolution which means that, as long as the treasury ministry holds a stake of at least 20% in the group, no other shareholder may exercise voting rights representing more than 20% of it, the ministry added.
The backing of the resolution by the ministry, which presently holds a 45.1% stake in ZAT, was opposed by Norica Holding, a 7.8% shareholder in ZAT, and a unit of Russia's mineral fertilizer Acron Group.
In July last year, Acron settled for a minority stake in ZAT, after failing with a hostile bid for the group that was opposed by the ministry and ZAT's management board.
The ministry helped fend off the bid by supporting a plan for ZAT to merge with another company it controls, nitrogen fertilizer, melamine and caprolactam (capro) producer Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy (ZAP). The merger came to fruition in January.
After failing with several attempts to privatise major state chemical assets in recent years, the ministry turned to a process of merger and consolidation, which it says could eventually lead to renewed privatisation efforts.
ZAT now trades under the brand Grupa Azoty, the name of the group it intends to formalise once some restructuring goals of its merger process with ZAP have been achieved.
Apart from the products produced by ZAP, ZAT companies also produce multi-component fertilizers, oxo-alcohols and titanium dioxide (TiO2).
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