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December 5, 2020

Four bids for Oltchim, winner to be made public today

Negotiations will start with the new investor.

The same four participants remained in the race for the privatization of Oltchim, which attended the first round of submitting offers, Monday: PCC SE (minority shareholder in Oltchim), Aisa Investment and Chimcomplex (Romanian companies controlled by businessman Stefan Vuza) and Dan Diaconescu, the chief of the Office for State Ownership and Industrial Privatization (OPSPI), Remus Vulpescu announced. The time available for submitting privatization documentations ended Thursday at noon, without the arrival of a surprise-investor announced by the minister of Economy, Daniel Chitoiu. The decisive day for the fate of Oltchim was marked by a row sparked by Dan Diaconescu, who handed his offer 10 minutes past the deadline. The founder of OTV told news televisions that OPSPI does not want to take his offer into account, but he cooled off when Remus Vulpescu announced that he will propose the privatization commission to accept his offer, despite being submitted 10 minutes after the deadline.The envelopes with participation documents were opened yesterday, but no talks were held about the offers and no price was discussed, as the financial offers will be analysed today, when authorities are expected to announce the name of the winner and to begin negotiations with the new investor. The leader of PP-DD, Dan Diaconescu said Thursday that he doubled his offer for Oltchim to EUR 2 bln, according to HotNews.ro, and he prepares a surprise for PM Victor Ponta, as he will bring a foreign investors in the chemical plant, but did not elaborate. PCC, a minority shareholder in Oltchim, submitted an offer for the shares held by the Ministry of Economy in Oltchim, and also for taking over the debts of the company towards AVAS and Electrica, evaluated at EUR 410 M. Businessman Stefan Vuza came with two offers for the acquisition of the chemical plant, through the companies AISA Invest and Chimcomplex. He only wants to take over the debt to Electrica. Dan Diaconescu only offered to purchase the state’s shares in Oltchim, but not the two claims.

Ponta: Perhaps PDL will come and buy it

Speaking about the privatization of Oltchim, Premier Victor Ponta said that this is a “Romanian-type” process and added that perhaps PDL will come and buy the plant, because it has more cash than Dan Diaconescu. He added that “anyone can make electoral campaign using the people (of the plant).”According to Mediafax, Economy minister Daniel Chitoiu said Wednesday, after meeting the representatives of Oltchim employees at Ramnicu Valcea, that he expects the plant to resume operations two to four weeks from now, along with a strategic investor for the privatization, capable to take over the plant. The minister added that the social aid worth RON 1,400 will be paid only to the employees of Oltchim that have salaries under the average gross salary in the economy. The leader of Oltchim protesters, Corneliu Cernev said that a plan B has been discussed for the eventuality in which the privatization will fail, and the reserve fund of the government will be used for restarting the installations. 

Overdue salaries for July, to be paid by September 25

Oltchim employees will receive the salaries for July until September 25, in a move unrelated to the social aid granted by the government, but the company did not operate in August and September, so the working norms might suffer, the delegate minister for Social Dialogue, Liviu Pop warned. He added that the situation of the two months will be analysed by the management of the company. The statements were made after the meeting of the National Tripartite Council for Social Dialogue at the Victoria Palace, dedicated to debating the measures on the privatization of companies with majority state capital and to other problems related to privatization.As for the social aid provided by the government, Pop explained that it will be provided depending on the personal income, also to the employees of Arpechim, and the first tranche will be paid after the completion of social probes scheduled to run for the next two weeks.Liviu Pop also announced that a meeting will of the National tripartite Council will be held next Wednesday, in which the representatives of employers organisations, trade unions and the state secretaries of the pertinent ministries will talk about structural funds.

IMF agreement needed to amend the law of social dialogue

The government sent the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the World Bank a draft modification of the Law of social dialogue and is waiting for the agreement of the financial institutions, as it estimates that the document will enter debates by the Executive within three weeks at most. The delegate minister of Social Dialogue, Liviu Pop considers that the current law actually blocks the social dialogue. He added that, within three weeks at most, the civil society will nominate its representatives in the Economic and Social Council.

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