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Oltchim SA made an offer to buy Arpechim refinery

May 30/2011

(Bloomberg) -- Oltchim SA has made an offer to buy OMV Petrom SA (SNP)s Arpechim refinery as Romania attempts to increase the companys appeal before selling its stake in the PVC maker. Oltchim is seeking to get cheaper raw materials for its petrochemical operations and boost investors interest in the chemical company before its privatization, Chief Executive Officer Constantin Roibu said by phone today.

The company aims to conclude the deal before the government sells its majority stake in loss-making Oltchim by the end of the year, Deputy Economy Minister Karoly Borbely said in an interview.

Petrom, Romanias largest oil and gas company, said in March that it will permanently close Arpechim and convert the site into a crude oil and fuel storage facility after it failed to find a buyer for the outdated refinery. Oltchim already bought Petroms petrochemical assets at the Arpechim refinery last year for EUR 13 million (USD19 million) and an undisclosed amount of debt restructuring.

Oltchim, which is based in Ramnicu-Valcea in southern Romania and has reported annual losses since 2007, would reduce raw materials costs by as much as 35 million euros a year after the refinery purchase, according to the CEO.

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