March 23 (prw) -- Lithuanian chemicals group UAB Achema is reported to be a contender in the bidding to take over Anwil, the PVC and fertiliser arm of Poland's leading oil refiner PKN Orlen.
Vilnius-based Achema, with 1,600 employees, is a manufacturer of industrial gases, adhesives, paints, resins, nitrogen and compound fertilisers and chemical intermediates.
It is a part of a three-strong shortlist of bidders for Wloclawek-based Anwil that also includes leading Polish fertiliser producer Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy (ZAP). Achema and ZAP are said to have each offered more than $352m for Orlen's 85% stake, according to Poland's daily paper Parkiet.
Orlen of Plock is preparing to select one bidder with whom it will enter into final negotiations prior to Anwil's sale, Orlen's deputy head Slawomir Jedrzejczyk was quoted as confirming.
Orlen is understood to be concerned at the timing of the sale, when depressed markets and uncertainty in the chemical sector have led to reduced purchase offers for its PVC offshoot. But, it is understood, the aim is still to complete the sale by the end of the second quarter of 2010.
In the background, the Polish government is scheduled to privatise its major holdings in the national chemical industry. It is expected to sell off its stakes in both Orlen and ZAP by the second half of 2010.