Poland wants to retain control over its top companies - deputy Treasury Minister
July 7, 2014
Poland's deputy Treasury Minister Wojciech Kowalczyk
The Polish government will forego selling any more stakes in Treasury-controlled firms, save for an unlikely need of capitalizing its investment support program the Polish Investment Fund, deputy Treasury Minister Wojciech Kowalczyk told reporters on Friday.
Last Wednesday, the Polish government sold 3.5% stake in Poland's largest power utility PGE, with the vast majority of funds, some PLN 1.2 billion, to be used to boost capital of the country’s development fund Polskie Inwestycje Rozwojowe SA, known by its Polish acronym PIR. But even after the transaction, the government still controls more than 58%.
Kowalczyk said that the government won't hold any large IPOs in the foreseeable future.
"Our main goal is building value and not privatization for privatization's sake," he said.
"Large privatizations are behind us," he told reporters. "Share blocks in our firms will be sold mostly for the purpose of further capitalization of PIR," Kowalczyk said. "We expect PIR to accelerate its works, but it seems that its financing needs this year have been met," he added
Kowalczyk predicts that PIR will likely need PLN 1 billion this year and more money next year.
"I estimate this year financing needs of PIR at PLN 1 billion, next year it should be more, but it's hard to say by how much, as it depends on attractiveness and profitability of the surfacing investment projects."
PIR, set up in June 2013, plans to focus on financing oil exploration, power generation and telecommunication industries, according to its investment strategy. The fund should sign 2-3 initial deals in Q3. To date, PIR signed two deals, with Tauron on financing Lagisza power block projects and with Lotos on financing exploration works on the Baltic Sea.
Theoretically, Poland could sell down its stakes in firms such PZU, the largest insurance company in Central Europe, Poland’s top bank by assets PKO Bank Polski SA and PGE.