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 as Europe's second largest soda ash maker--once it had managed to roll over its debt.
I'm in the middle of editing an article by Prague-based ICIS stringer, Will Conroy, on this very subject. It is heartening to read quotes from current deputy treasury minister Adam Leszkiewicz - seemingly filled with a heathly dose of realism. If this guy is making the decisions, there is more chance of success for this much-needed process:
"If those past decisions had been made according to business and not political logic, many companies would by now be operating with a new investor instead of fighting off financial problems... One cannot focus, however, only on what could and should have been done. We live in a specific market reality within which we have to operate, rather than waiting--and nobody knows for how long--for the good times to return."
Good bids that could lead to a successful conclusion of the renewed privatisation were being received despite the investment climate "but, let us be honest, they are not going to be competitive if compared with those from the booming economy times", Leszkiewicz added.