IN 2012, THE OPENING OF THE BIDS FOR THE PRIVATIZATION OF THE PLANT TOOK PLACE IN THE PRESENCE OF THE PRESS
BURSA 08.07.2017

Adina Ardeleanu (translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
 
mărește imaginea
     * Chimcomplex has announced it has made a bid
     * Sources: "PCC did not participate in the call for bids"
     * Gheorghe Piperea: "We have several offers, both for the five asset packages of Râmnicu Vâlcea, as well as for other packages"
       Whereas in 2012, the privatization of "Oltchim" generated a media blitz, as the opening of the bids occurred with the participation of the press, yesterday, the closing of the call for tenders for the nine asset packages of the plant which were put up for sale was kept behind closed doors.
     Gheorghe Piperea, a partner with Rominsolv, bankruptcy trustee of the plant, told us that "numerous" bids have been submitted for the assets of Oltchim, both for the five asset packages of Râmnicu Vâlcea, as well as for other packages.
     "For now no details can be provided about the bids, not about the bidders or the financial details, because those need to be discussed with the creditors", Gheorghe Piperea told us.
     According to him, the bids will be discussed informally with the creditors, once they get summoned officially, within 10 days.
     Market sources told us that PCC, the minority shareholder of the plant, has made no bid for "Oltchim".
     Still, the PCC also appears on a list of potential investors, presented by News.ro, which quotes sources, and the list also includes Chimcomplex Borzești, Louisiana Chemical and GFR Group, as well as four other companies that were not named. However, our sources said that the list is not accurate.
     Besides, Gheorghe Piperea also told "BURSA" that the list presented by the news agency was "inaccurate".
     Recently, the special administrator of the plant, Bogdan Stănescu said that over ten investors who have submitted non-binding offers for the nine asset paof assets of Oltchim that are on sale might submit non-binding offers for the purchasing of the assets before the deadline (July 6th).
     Chimcomplex Borzești, a member of the SCE group, has official announced that it has submitted a binding offer for acquiring the assets of Oltchim Râmnicu Vâlcea, but did not provide any details on the size of the bid or the packages it has bid on.
     Bu the Chimcomplex officials have announces that the company has been joined by American giant Tricon Energy, with a turnover of 6 billion dollars, as commercial partner, 5 European banks and 2 investment funds. They have said that the SCR group, which currently owns Chimcomplex, and which will become the direct guarantor of the transaction, which has assets of more than 120 million Euros, will be joined by 4 business partners of which one in Turkey and one in Italy.
     When asked in a recent interview what happens once the binding offers have been submitted, Gheorghe Piperea, bankruptcy trustee of Oltchim, told us: "Once the binding offers have been made, a month of negotiations will follow. Naturally, once that procedure is over, the contract will be signed, which will have a deadline of 2-3 months for its execution, because there are all kinds of banking arrangements that will have to be made - let's not forget that if the sale gets done, it will involve amounts of hundreds of millions".
     On June 28th, the Court of Vâlcea decided, to confirm the change of the plant for the reorganization of "Oltchim", thus certifying the new method of sale, through nine asset packages.
     Last summer, the authorities announced the new method for the sale of "Oltchim" - through the split into nine asset packages, after the European Commission announced an investigation concerning a potential state aid on the buyer of the plant.
     According to the amended plan for the reorganization of the company, approved in the meeting of the Creditors' Meeting of March 6th, the assets of "Oltchim" are being offered for sale grouped into nine packages: the alkalis chlorine plants, the oxo-alcohols plant, the propylene-oxyde and polyols plants, site services, railroad cars, PVC processing, the petrochemical plant, VCM/PVC Râmnicu Vâlcea, the Bradu-Pitești petrochemical plant, the phthallic anhydride plant of Râmnicu Vâlcea.
     The total market value of the nine asset packages is 293.728 million Euros, and the starting bid for the sale is 307 million Euros.
     Oltchim entered insolvency proceedings on January 30th, 2013, and the consortium made up of Rominsolv SPRL and BDO Business Restructuring SPRL has been appointed as bankruptcy trustee.
     The government, which holds 54.8% of the shares of the company, has previously tried to privatize the company, unsuccessfully.
     The winner of the call for bids of 2012, Dan Diaconescu, failed to come up with the money to pay for "Oltchim".
     Back then, the call for bids was held in the presence of TV cameras, and the whole process was really comical: the head of the OPSPI at the time, Remus Vulpescu, stapled Dan Diaconescu's folder live and accepted his participation in the "competition".
     In 2012, Dan Cristian Diaconescu participated on his own behalf in the call for bids for the Oltchim plant, because the company he wanted to use for bidding was not yet operational, according to his statements.
     At the time he gave assurances that he had the money necessary to finance the activity of the plant, namely a credit line of 250 million Euros, with which he was going to participate in the other privatizations - Tarom, Trans­gaz, CFR Marfă, Poșta Română, Hidroelectrica.
     Moreover, the journalist was saying that he would create the a company called "Societatea Proprietatea Poporului Dreptate Demnitate SA" and he would raise money through an IPO. In a very colorful statement, he told us at the time: "We want the people to participate in this privatization. We've been contacted by folks who want to participate in this company - with whatever they can scrape together.
     Back then, Diaconescu was also promising that he would bring 3 million Euros in bags, to pay the wages of the employees of Oltchim.
     At the same time, Dan Diaconescu called the head of the OPSPI "DJ Remus Vulpescu", because the latter had him listen to music during the negotiations.
     Diaconescu said that Vulpescu turned on his laptop and asked the participants what music they would like to listen to and played songs by Tudor Gheorghe, Ilie Micolov and AC/DC.
     Dan Diaconescu did not pay the amount promised for Oltchim, nor did he participate in another privatization as he was convicted in 2015 to an enforceable prison sentence for blackmail.
     The government promised the privatization of Oltchim in the memorandum concluded with the IMF, and agreed that if the privatization failed, the plant would enter voluntary liquidation, and the company would enter receivership.
     Some people have equated the piecemeal sale of the plant to its death, but Gheorghe Piperea claimed that the it was just the company's "business centers being sold individually".
     In fact, investors who participate in the auction receive a bonus of 5,000 Euros for each employee they keep. 
 

 
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