LONDON (ICIS)--The Romanian government has provided potential bidders with a new mid-May deadline in the delayed privatisation process for insolvent chemical producer Oltchim, Romania's economy ministry said on Wednesday.
The previous 28 March deadline passed with no binding offers submitted, but ministers have agreed to a 12 May deadline after some bidders expressed a willingness to consider making an offer once further pre-bid talks have been completed, it added.
Those talks would look at whether the Arpechim refinery – shut down by OMV Petrom two years ago and previously a key element in the feedstock chain serving Oltchim – can be bundled into the package on offer to investors, an economy ministry source said.
To date, investors have been invited to bid for 'Oltchim II', a special purpose vehicle (SPV) that includes Oltchim's vital assets but not its substantial debts of €811m, some of which the ministry proposes to pay off with privatisation proceeds.
The value of the assets transferred to Oltchim II is approximately €305m, according to the SPV's legal administrators, Rominsolv and BDO Business Restructuring.
Oltchim was entered into insolvency proceedings and placed under a special administrator in January last year by the economy ministry, after a previous attempt at selling off the indebted firm collapsed.
Its main products include polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyols, dioctyl phthalate (DOP) and caustic soda but a lack of feedstock and working capital has pushed production output down to around 20% of capacity, the company said.