Romania's government changes privatisation plan for Oltchim

04 June 2013 13:41  [Source: ICIS news]

BUCHAREST (ICIS)--Romania's economy ministry has decided to change the privatisation plan for the beleaguered chemical company Oltchim in a bid to attract investors after a failed privatisation attempt in late 2012, it said on Tuesday.

The company will be divided in two, with a new company called Oltchim SPV to be created.

This will take all functional units from Oltchim, including a 200,000 tonne/year ethylene plant located adjacent to the Arpechim refinery, according to a preliminary announcement posted on ministry website.

The debts will remain with Oltchim, while Oltchim SPV will be cleaned of debts and will start activity from scratch, the statement said.

Future buyers should be companies with experience in the chemical or petrochemical industry, or an investor able to prove reliability certified by bank letters of reliability and comfort, covering at least 25% of the sum that must be committed.

Production at Oltchim’s units is currently severely restricted because of a lack of working capital to secure feedstock supplies.

The Romanian government, which has a majority stake in the company, decided on 23 January to begin insolvency procedures in a move intended to pave the way for a future privatisation, as a result of the group’s economic problems.

Last month, Oltchim started to cut 900 jobs at its site in Ramnicu Valcea, in order to reduce costs.

Oltchim has around 3,300 employees, many of whom have staged protests in recent months over unpaid wages and prospective job cuts.

The company produces caustic soda, petrochemicals, agrochemicals, inorganic products and building materials, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for panels, doors and window frames.

The Romanian state holds a 54.8% stake in the company with Germany-based chemical producer PCC holding 18.3% and Cyprus-based Nachbar Services holding 14.3%. Smaller shareholders hold the balance.

By: Marian Chiriac
+44 20 8652 3214

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