Romanian chemical company Chimcomplex has reportedly submitted an indicative offer to acquire the assets of insolvent local chemical plant Oltchim.
Chimcomplex is in expansion mode as it seeks to expand its existing operations as well as placing a bid for Oltchim’s assets. The investments are in line with the company’s plans to reposition Romania on the European chemical industry map.
Oltchim, which is 54.8% owned by the Romanian state, has been having financial difficulties for years. It was declared insolvent in 2013. The Romanian authorities have repeatedly attempted to privatise the plant but without success. In August, the company announced it would be put up for sale in nine asset bundles.
The submitted offer refers to the viable active asset bundles, utilities and to the assets which will constitute the base for the development of the future platform, the head of Chimcomplex’s managing board Virgiliu Bancila said, according to Ziarul Financiar.
“It is a realistic and sustainable offer which targets the consolidation of the assets in the production segment and important investments for the upgrade and restart of some technological flows which are currently stopped,” Bancila said.
Last week, Bursa daily reported that Chimcomplex would submit bids for 80% of Oltchim’s assets and PCC, which has a 30% stake in Oltchim, will also place a bid by January 23 when the deadline for non-binding bids expired.
The size of Chimcomplex’s bid has not been revealed but back in August, News.ro reported that Chimcomplex would submit an offer “in excess of €100mn” for the core assets of Oltchim.
Chimcomplex is part of SCR group owned by local investor Stefan Vuza. Vuza has said that Chimcomplex Borzesti and Oltchim will establish the National Chemical Company, creating a major European player given the combined commercial strength of the two companies.
Earlier this month, local media reported that Chimcomplex was also planning to invest €10mn in a calcium chloride production capacity.
Despite the reported interest from Chimcomplex, there are some concerns over whether the European Commission could claim back the state aid received by Oltchim in the past from the new owner, as mentioned by sell-side consultant AT Kearney, Bursa daily reported recently.
In April, the European Commission started an in-depth investigation to verify if the debt write-offs by the Romanian state and continued supplies by state-owned companies to Oltchim were in line with EU rules.
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