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Unipetrol: management considers two major acquisitions

Unipetrol: management considers two major acquisitions

5.2.2007 8:50
Autor: KBC/Patria

Unipetrol is considering two "major" acquisitions in addition to efforts to buy a refinery stake from ConocoPhillips, Chief Executive Officer Francois Vleugels said in interview to Bloomberg on Friday. The company is pursuing purchases in its key areas of refining, petrochemicals and car fuel sales. Besides Ceska Rafinerska, there are two major opportunities, Vleugels said without naming them. One of them could happen in 2007 and the other one, the larger one, could be this year or next year. If it fails to make acquisitions, Unipetrol may consider paying dividends to shareholders or buying back shares, the CEO added. The management team may discuss the dividend or a buyback plan as early as the fourth quarter this year, he said.

Our view: Extending its stake in Ceska Rafinerska is certainly positive from strategic point of view. Since ConocoPhillips was already reported to sell its 18% stake in Cra and Unipetrol has preemptive rights, this seems as an obvious choice for us. Regarding the acquisition plans we have a suspicion that one of them could be a retail network while the other a chemicals company. Since many have doubts about the return of these investments, (in other words whether Unipetrol can make acquisitions at a reasonable price) market would welcome a decision on a potential share buyback or dividends, in our view. We expect slight positive market reaction to the news.


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