(Jiří Soustružník) The Czech Press Agency reports that Sibur (part of the Russian Gazprom group) is interested in the non-refinery companies of Unipetrol, and therefore it seeks a partner (possibly among other Russian companies) to form a consortium toward Unipetrol privatization. Neutral.
Apart from Sibur, BAGS and Norex Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell, Conoco, Austrian OMV, Russian Lukoil and Czech Agrofert have all been reported as potentially having interest in Unipetrol.
Separately, Bloomberg reported yesterday that Unipetrol would acquire the domestic chemical producer of ethylene-based products Spolana in autumn 2001. It has been widely expected that, after a financial restructuring (debt-equity swap), Spolana would be acquired by Unipetrol before the latter is privatized, i.e., the news should be neutral for Unipetrol stock, unless more details are revealed.