On Friday, the due diligence process in the Unipetrol privatization was completed. Recall that the deadline for submitting binding bids is April 23. The tender winner should be known by end-April/early-May. Further news on the ongoing privatization (especially concerning the formation of bidding consortiums) is expected to appear in coming days.
The SB of the Polish PKN Orlen has approved the management's plan to place a final bid for the state's 63% stake in Unipetrol, Reuters reported on Friday.
Separately, the deputy chairman of the National Property Fund (NPF) P. Kuta said in an interview for Bloomberg on Friday that he is much less optimistic regarding the final privatization price than at the beginning of the privatization process. The government's decision to eliminate companies such as the Russian OAO Tatneft from the tender will undoubtedly have an impact on the price, he said. The statement is unsurprising and in line with overall market expectations.
Mr. Kuta also said that bidders may submit two sets of bids: one for Unipetrol with Ceska rafinerska (Cra), and one for the company without its 51%-owned refining unit. Recall that the IOC consortium (Agip, Shell and ConocoPhilips), which owns 49% in Cra, has an option to buy the rest of Cra when ownership of Unipetrol changes. He also reiterated that the government has no post-privatization restrictions.
Jan Hájek, Patria Finance