Archive | March, 2010

Poland chemical privatization firm ZChP still waiting for bailout

Poland’s largest nitrogen phosphorus potassium (NPK) fertilizer producer, Zaklady Chemiczne Police, is still waiting for a zloty (Zl) 150m ($51.4m, €38.7m) state bail out to be approved by the European Commission.As you can see from the table I recently put together below (click to open), Police is due to be sold by the second half […]

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Ciech suffers weak demand ahead of privatisation

Things are looking pretty tough for Europe’s secong largest soda ash producer, Poland’s Ciech. First its privatisation was delayed as it struggles to refinance its Zl1.56bn debt burden. Now analysts predict weak demand for its core product due to competition from imports of natural soda sourced from Turkish trona mines. Erste Bank said in a […]

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Brenntag highlights antitrust fines in IPO prospectus

In its recently published IPO prospectus, German chemical group Brenntag raises the prospect of  ”substantial fines” and the forced divestment of assets at below market prices if it is found to be in violation of antitrust rules. The group has been embroiled in investigations in France and Germany for a couple of years and the outcome of […]

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Hellenic Petroleum petrochemical assets could be for sale

Burdened by at least $406bn in national debt, (and anti-government riots -see right), Greece is now considering the sale of many assets, including its 35.5% stake in Hellenic Petroleum which produces chemicals including MTBE, caustic soda, chlorine and PVC at its main Thessaloniki plant. According to the Wall Street Journal, its stake in Hellenic is […]

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Univar pushes into Romania and Russia

Univar plans to expand into Romania and Russia in the coming years as part of a growth strategy in central and eastern Europe (CEE), the global chemical distributor tells my colleague, Elaine Burridge. Univar is really pushing ahead at present, under new CEO John Zillmer, appointed last October. Since then it has purchased European distributor Quaron […]

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Slow recovery in foreign direct investment for Eastern Europe

Economies in Central and Eastern Europe grew strongly in the 2000′s, fueled by cheap credit from Western banks who saw the region as a superb investment opportunity. As my recent editor’s blog entry suggests, newly-found political stability and high levels of economic growth made investing there seem like an obvious choice. Vast sums of money […]

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Lack of info in Dow Styron sale to Bain shows confidence returning to m&a

A source close to the purchase of US Dow’s Styron business unit by private equity group, Bain Capital, tells me that there was not a huge amount of detail available to potential purchasers in the run up to the sale. The fact that Bain Capital went ahead with the purchase, despite this lack of detail, shows just how much confidence […]

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Ukraine petrochemicals production dives by a quarter

Severe economic problems in Ukraine and neighbouring countries since the financial crisis have really hit demand for chemicals hard. GDP plummeted by 15% last year with all sectors of the economy affected. According to a new report out by, the construction sector virtually ground to a halt, with activity falling by around a half. […]

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Fortune unveils top 15 chemical companies; BASF anomaly

Fortune magazine has revealed the results of its survey of most admired companies, including a breakout of top chemical companies. Here is the list: Company   Industry   Overall score1  BASF  7.042  DuPont  7.033  PPG Industries  6.964  Bayer  6.875  L’Air Liquide  6.366  Dow Chemical  6.117  Linde  5.978  Mitsubishi Chemical  5.639  Akzo Nobel  5.5410  Sumitomo Chemical  5.4011  SABIC  5.2812  Sasol […]

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Poland chemical privatisation may benefit from good dose of realism

The privatisation of Poland’s chemical sector stumbles on, having been subject to many delays and alterations. The latest deadline is March 22, the date by which German group Petro Carbo Chem should acquire ZAT and ZAK, having been awarded exclusive negotiating rights. It and two other unspecified bidders were told they could resubmit binding bids for Ciech–also billed […]

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