Romania recently offered Azerbaijan company Socar the chance to take over state -owned chemical producer Oltchim, which entered insolvency at the beginning of this year, after a failed privatization attempt last year. Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta, who is on an official visit to Azerbaijan, met the SOCAR management and talked about the possibility.
“If SOCAR is interested, we can sell within a month. We don’t have to wait until October, when the reorganization plan is approved. We’ve created the procedure, of building an investment vehicle and I think by July this procedure will be done, and we can pre-sell Oltchim to SOCAR,” said Gheorghe Piperea, the representative of the judiciary administrator for Oltchim. Piperea added it is important that SOCAR is interested, as the company has received inquiries from “all sorts of weird people, not as famous as the one in September 2012, but close.” He referred to the media owner and politician Dan Diaconescu, who won the bid for Oltchim last year, but who failed to provide the pledged EUR 45 million.
Piperea added that before the sale, it is important that the needed EUR 25 million financing is secured to fuel the current activity.
SOCAR currently runs a network of 14 gas stations across Romania, and plans to open more in Bacau, Focsani and Roman. The company previously stated its interest in cooperating with Oltchim, and selling its petrochemical products in Romania, but mentioned back then this did not necessarily imply buying anything in Romania.