Poland's KGHM May Buy Utility Tauron's Shares in June IPO, CEO Wirth Says

KGHM Polska Miedz SA, Poland’s only copper producer, may buy shares in Tauron Polska Energia SA in an initial public offering scheduled for June, KGHM Chief Executive Officer Herbert Wirth said today.

“I don’t exclude the investment” in the country’s second- largest power group, Wirth told reporters in Lubin, southwestern Poland. KGHM will wait for Tauron’s prospectus before deciding on participating in the IPO, he said.

KGHM would want a stake that would give it influence in managing the company and the investment is in line with the copper maker’s strategy, Wirth said.

“This isn’t very positive news for KGHM as Tauron may need restructuring and it may be too big of a challenge” for the copper maker, Robert Maj, an analyst at KBC Securities in Warsaw, said by phone. “I wonder if shareholders’ decision on the dividend today wasn’t related to Tauron’s purchase idea.”

The owners of state-controlled KGHM today approved a payout of 3 zloty a share from 2009 profit, the lowest dividend per share since 2005, accepting the management’s proposal for the first time in five years. KGHM shares fell 2.8 percent to 98.2 zloty as of 2:38 p.m. in Warsaw.

The Polish Treasury ministry, which holds 88 percent of Tauron and is offering 25 percent of the utility, may increase the stake to as much as 53 percent in the IPO, the government said last week. Tauron is scheduled to publish its prospectus in early June.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maciej Martewicz in Warsaw at mmartewicz@bloomberg.net Marta Waldoch in Warsaw on mwaldoch@bloomberg.net

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