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May 22, 2022

Oltchim privatisation, a double-edged sword

Although employees suspended protests, authorities say the future is sealed without Arperchim and Oil Terminal, yet time is short, losses being very large. Also, a large Russian company may put in a bid for the complex.

Remus Vulpescu president of the Office for State Ownership and Privatisation in Industry (OSPI), and Cartel Alfa Vice-president Petru Dandea agree that without an integrated operation with Arpechim and Oil Terminal, the future of the Oltchim Complex is sealed actually.  “Losses got to 7 M euro per month, while the salary fund matches EUR 3 M,” Remus Vulpescu said, making the case for a quick decision being reached. Time is all too short for carrying out negotiations towards the forming of an integrated company, the OSPI head said on The Money Channel. Vulpescu added that a reasonable timeframe for concluding negotiations with OMV Petrom over Oltchim’s integrated operation with Arpechim would be of one and a half years. Such solution would ensure not only the complex’s profitability, but also mean more hiring. Another extremely important aspect is Dan Diaconescu challenging in court the decision by the General Meeting of Oltchim shareholders (AGA) over the updating held by the Credit Asset Resolution Authority (AVAS) with accompanying interest on capitalization date. This is an action to cancel AGA the decision registered with the Valcea Tribunal Sept 13, with the first court date set for Oct 18.  “This puts me in the situation of selling the litigated assets,” the OSPI head told HotNews. The way he sees it, such litigation could bear a negative impact on the Oltchim privatisation, mainly by putting in lower bids. During a television program, Dan Diaconescu said that the Oltchim privatisation had allegedly been directed to a certain company, despite a tender going to be held to pick the best bid. Although he is willing to join the privatization process, Dan Diaconescu is yet to make a bid for Oltchim, the deadline being today, Sept 17, noontime. Unfortunately, Oltchim’s fate appears being sealed. Petru Dandea says that, unless conditions are met for the majority stake to be sold, the complex won’t be able to resume operations without an integrated system being in place. While the salary arrears may be paid, in the upcoming months, this would be an increasingly tall task nonetheless, which in turn would create serious problems to the 3,400 Valcea families directly reliant on Oltchim activity. OPSPI is expecting at least three bids for the privatization of the chemical complex Oltchim Ramnicu-Valcea (OLT) and does not  rule out a large Russian company making a bid for the complex, OPSPI head Remus Vulpescu said at the Hidroelectrica creditors’ meeting Friday. So far, the 13 investors have purchased the privatisation tender book.


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