WARSAW (AFX) – The Polish treasury has called for the terms of the 2004 sale of the PHS steel group to Arcelor Mittal to be reviewed, to see if a more favourable deal for Poland could be renegotiated.
Deputy Treasury Minister Pawel Salamacha called for the review during a parliamentary debate on the sale of Poland’s biggest steel concern.
In a recent report issued by the Polish Auditors’ Court, the value of PHS was ‘under-estimated by around two billion zlotys’ (513 mln eur) at the time of the group’s acquisition by Arcelor Mittal.
The Auditors’ Court recommended that the Treasury renegotiate the terms of a call option that was part of the 2004 deal, which would allow Arcelor Mittal to acquire an additional 25 pct stake in PHS for one zloty per share, or a total of 67 mln zlotys.
But the court did not complain about Arcelor Mittal winning the tender to buy PHS, saying that its offer was the best on the table at the time.
The full details of the sale contract have not been made public.
PHS comprises the four main steel mills in Poland — Huta Sendzimira, Huta Katowice, Huta Florian and Huta Cedler — which between them account for 70 pct of Polish steel production.
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