The Cabinet is today to discuss a proposal by the Ministry of Industry regarding the restructuring of the domestic chemical sector, including its privatization. According to information leaked to newspapers, the ministry will propose that Unipetrol’s privatization be launched as early as this year, which, if approved, would be very good news. The proposal reportedly envisages a gradual reduction of the state’s 63% stake to 11%. It is not clear whether the ministry will propose a sale of Unipetrol shares to a strategic investor(s) or to the public—both options have been mentioned in the past. The ministry estimates the value of the state’s 63% stake in Unipetrol at CZK 7.4 bil.–16 bil., implying a price range of CZK 65–140 per share (vs. Friday’s close of CZK 62.15).
The ministry’s proposal should also identify possible acquisition targets that Unipetrol might make before privatization. Our recommendation is ST accumulate and LT buy.