Poland's ZAP to allow ministry official to join board

12 April 2013 17:54  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy (ZAP) is permitting the Polish treasury ministry to appoint one representative to its supervisory board even though the ministry no longer holds any shares in the company, the Poland-based company said on Friday.

Fertilizer, melamine and caprolactam (capro) maker ZAP is now 96%-owned by largest Polish chemical producer Zaklady Azoty Tarnow (ZAT), which itself is controlled by the treasury ministry.

“We view the proposed change [in ZAP's company bylaws to allow for the ministry representative] as another of the many signals that, in the context of the takeover risks from Russia's Acron [mineral fertilizer group], the treasury ministry is keen to retain strategic control over the Polish chemicals group,” said Piotr Drozd, a chemicals industry analyst at investment bank WOOD & Company.

“When the merger with ZAT went through, the ministry promised a 'merger of equals', so having the ministry official on board will help ZAP's management hold the ministry to that pledge,” a middle-management source at ZAP added.

In mid-March, the treasury ministry tightened its grip on ZAT with the adoption of board measures restricting the voting powers of other shareholders, including Acron.

Acron failed with a near-half-a-billion-euro hostile bid for ZAT in July last year.

The ZAT group already trades under the Grupa Azoty brand name, which it says will also apply to all its subsidiaries once an ongoing merger and consolidation process is completed.

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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