The deadline closed last week and six companies have expressed an interest in acquiring the large chemicals producer NCHZ, which went into receivership after having an almost EUR 20 million fine slapped on it by the European Commission over cartel allegations.
There is one company each from the UK, Germany, Czech Republic and Belgium, with 2 from the Slovak Republic, including the company M-Energo, which offered EUR 2 million for the plant last year but had its offer rejected.
Now the companies have to put up a EUR 1 million bond by 12 September to show their earnest intention, with actual price offers to be appraised in November. These offers must equal at least the EUR 2 million offered by M-Energo, but there will also be the ecological burden to deal with, with EUR 11 million to go towards the absent ecology programme.
The 1,500 employees at the plant have been fearing for their future for some time now, and if no bid is accepted or the sale doesn’t go through, they will have good reason to worry, as this could possibly spell the end of the plant. Even if the plant gets a new owner, re-organisation and cost-cutting will likely see many of them lose jobs in the end anyway. The sales process should culminate by the end of the year.