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Russia’s Acron makes a bid for ZAT chemical group


Acron, a globally active Russian maker of mineral fertiliser, on 16 May launched a takeover bid for Warsaw-listed Zaklady Azotowe Tarnow (ZAT), Poland’s number one chemical group. The company is offering about PLN 1.5bn (€344m) for 66% of shares in ZAT.

According to Acron, the transaction offers substantial synergies for both companies in areas such as raw materials, logistics and infrastructure, new markets, and technological advances. In a statement, Vladimir Kantor, Acron’s vice president, said the deal would expand the businesses of both groups, with ZAT’s manufacturing companies becoming the base for Acron’s operations within the European Union and Polish chemical products gaining access to markets around the world through Acron’s sales network.

The bid has met with cool reception from ZAT’s management board and shareholders, including the state, which is its biggest shareholder with a 32% stake. They consider the offered price to be less than satisfactory.

The ZAT group, which also includes ZAK and ZCh Police, is one of Europe’s largest chemical groups focusing on engineering plastics, nitrogen and multi-component fertilisers, OXO alcohols and plasticisers. It is the fifth largest European manufacturer of polyamides and one of the top mineral fertiliser producers in the EU. In 2011 it had revenues of PLN 5.3bn (€1.2bn).

Acron Group claims to be a world’s leading mineral fertiliser producer. Its key business segments include ammonia, nitrogen and complex mineral fertilisers, as well as organic and non-organic compounds. The group employs more than 13,000 people.

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