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Cash-hungry state concerns to press for Polkomtel IPO

One of the leading telecom firms on the Polish market, Polkomtel S.A., will be listed on the Warsaw stock exchange by the end of 2005, according to company president Jarosław Pachowski.

However, Treasury Minister Jacek Socha has serious doubts about the firm's flotation. "I do support Polkomtel's aspirations, but, on the other hand, I must be realistic, as I know how long all the preliminary procedures take," said Socha. Three state-owned companies: KGHM, copper concern, PKN Orlen, the oil giant and national power network (PSE) control over 75% of Polkomtel, the remaining 19.61% stake belongs respectively to Danish TDC and British Vodafone.

PKN Orlen hopes to sell its stake soon, as it plans to finance at least part of its investments from the capital collected. KGHM and PSE, in turn, do not seem in a hurry. According to Reuters, it will probably be the government that presses all the Polish shareholders to sell their assets simultaneously, so as to negotiate better prices. The foreign investors have to give their permission and both have the priority rights.

(WBJ 11.vii.05)

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