No sweetener for French

Alan Heath
17-01-2001, 00:00

No sweetener for French

This week the French Saint Louis Sucre is hoping to appeal against the decision of the interior ministry to effectively restrain the sale of the Silesian sugar concern Śląska Spółka Cukrowa which has a 16 percent market share. At the same time it is hoping to acquire each of the 16 companies within the concern individually.

In order for the sales contract to go through, all its conditions must be met within six months from the date of the sale which was in December. If this does not happen then the sales contract will become invalid.

This may be good for those that want to create a holding called Polski Cukier which would need the Silesian companies to be added to it. They are claiming that the company was incorrectly valued pointing to the Wrocław refinery where, they say, the land was not valued. They claim that it is worth at least PLN50m. In all, they say, Saint Louis Sucre paid PLN150m too little.

It would also seem that four MPs requested that the state security apparatus, Urząd Ochrony Państwa, look into the privatisation of the sugar industry.

SLS paid PLN250.5m for a 95 percent stake in the company and agreed to invest PLN155m in it over the next five years.

SLS deposited PLN580m in a now blocked account for the shares, increased capital value and investments. Patrice Saintherant of SLS says that this blocked money is a major loss for his shareholders.

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