RÂMNICU VÂLCEA, ROMANIA (April 26, 12 p.m. ET) — Romanian PVC producer Oltchim SA has come one step closer to privatization as four bidders submitted preliminary non-binding offers by the April deadline.
The bidders comprise Duisburg, Germany, chemical company PCC SE, which is already a minority Oltchim shareholder with an 18.3 percent stake; Moscow-based chemical company JSC Tise; Ploiesti, Romania-based industrial engineering company Pegamont SA; and Cluj-Napoca, Romania-based business consulting firm Aisa Invest SA.
The Romanian government, which owns a majority 54.8 percent stake in Oltchim, invited bids last month. The sale is due to be held in two stages and selected investors will be able to negotiate the acquisition of the Arpechim refinery, Oltchim's main raw material supplier, with its owner OMV Petrom.
Privatization of the chemical company was delayed for some years amid objections from minority shareholders, who currently hold a combined stake of around 30 percent. The government plans to convert Oltchim's debts into shares and sell them to future investors in the company.
Whoever eventually buys the Romanian state chemical business seems likely to face a substantial bill for restructuring the Oltchim operation and upgrading many of its production facilities.