Poland's Ciech for sale to 'serious investors' - ministry

15 May 2013 16:30  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Investors are welcome to at any time submit a substantive offer for soda ash maker Ciech, the Polish treasury ministry said on Wednesday.

The ministry, which is the controlling shareholder in Ciech, said it was feasible that if a good offer emerged, the company could be privatised by the end of this year.

A 2011 attempt at privatising Ciech was abandoned by the ministry after bidders indicated they would not submit offers that met ministers' expectations.

New management at Ciech, which took over with the approval of the ministry last year, is implementing a widened divestment strategy at the company aimed at selling off non-core businesses.

In January, this led to the closure of Ciech's Zachem toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) business after the sale of assets to German chemical major BASF.

In late April, a Ciech source disclosed that the company stood ready to sell or liquidate its Romanian and German soda ash operations – which have a combined production capacity of 1.1m tonnes/year – if restructuring efforts do not sufficiently improve profitability.

Ciech’s soda ash capacity in Poland is 1.2m tonnes/year. The company is mulling an expansion of this capacity to 1.4m tonnes/year.

($1 = €0.70)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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