Unipetrol shares hit an all-time low yesterday (closing at CZK 34.35, -8.6%). Contrary to our expectations, the market seems to have reacted to Bloomberg’s recap related to the put option held by Unipetrol bondholders and bank creditors. The option can be exercised if the ownership structure of Unipetrol changes, which it soon will. We estimate that the option is likely to be exercised by the bondholders; the banks may decide to keep their loan exposure. Unipetrol’s debt restructuring could be at least partially financed by the proceeds from the Ceska rafinerska and Benzina sale to Conoco. A. Babis, Agrofert’s CEO, said at a press conference yesterday that the deal with Conoco is near completion.
The National Property Fund and Agrofert signed a purchase contract for a 62.99% equity stake in Unipetrol yesterday.
Unipetrol released its preliminary 2001 CAS unconsolidated results yesterday, while pretax profit rose by 10%, net profit fell by 25%:
CZK mil. 2001 2000 change
Sales 240 152 58%
Pretax profit 99 90 10%
Net profit 91 121 -25%
These figures have very little market relevance-the more important 2001 CAS results of the main subsidiaries will be released on February 20, and consolidated CAS results will be released on February 28.