Romania Gets Four Offers for Oltchim, Holds Auction Tomorrow

Romania received four offers for the majority stake in chemical company Oltchim SA.

The bidders are from Germany’s PCC SE, a minority shareholder in Oltchim, Romanian companies Aisa Invest SA and Chimcomplex SA as well as media entrepreneur Dan Diaconescu, Remus Vulpescu, who heads the Economy Ministry’s state-asset sales agency, told reporters in Bucharest today.

The economy ministry will hold an auction tomorrow to sell its 54.8 percent stake in Oltchim, together with two company debts towards the state and the power supplier Electrica SA, worth a total of about 1.1 billion lei. The auction will start at 12:00 p.m. in Bucharest, Vulpescu said.

PCC submitted bids for the stake package and for the debt while Aisa and Dan Diaconescu are interested in the share package only. Chimcomplex submitted bids for the shares and for the debt to Electrica.

The buyer will also have the option to purchase OMV Petrom SA’s Arpechim refinery after negotiating terms with Romania’s biggest oil company. OMV AG, Petrom’s majority owner, signed an accord to sell Arpechim refinery to Oltchim’s buyer, Prime Minister Victor Ponta said on Sept. 18.

Romania must try to sell the Oltchim shares and a minority stake in Transgaz SA, the country’s natural-gas grid operator, by September to get the International Monetary Fund board’s approval for unlocking the next tranche of its so-called precautionary accord. It also needs to cut overdue debt of local authorities and increase natural gas prices, the fund’s Mission Chief Erik de Vrijer said on Aug. 14.

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