Polish Business Survey

Alan Heath
07-06-2000, 00:00

Polish Business Survey

Combat support for debt ridden PZL

Two thirds of the suppliers of aircraft manufacturer PZL Świdnik have agreed to accept a deal which would reduce debts and allow them to receive some cash. Debts of less than PLN10,000 will be reduced by 15 percent and be paid over two months whilst those over this sum will be reduced by 40 percent and be paid in 12 quarterly installments until 2003. The private debts of the company are currently PLN36m. Debts to the social security and tax offices are currently PLN54m.

The company is being restructured and once complete privatisation is planned. This should happen this year but investors are only going to be interested if they see potential clients.

The Polish Ministry of Defence announced that it intends to buy around 120 attack helicopters for over PLN4bn. The potential helicopter order was responded to by the US Bell Helicopter Textron (Super Cobra), Italian Agusta who offered the Mangusta helicopter, the US Boeing and French Eurocopter. The government is hoping that any potential investor would increase the capitalisation of the company and produce at least part of it in Świdnik.

Bell Helicopter said that it would invest nearly USD100m in PZL Świdnik. The Italians are offering a share in the planning and development of the AB139 helicopter in a twenty year programme. Eurocopter, part of the European Aerospace Defence Space Company, claims it could produce parts here. Only Boeing is not revealing what its plans are.

Spar seeks strategic investor

Retail franchiser Spar has announced that it is seeking an investor for its network in Poland which will enable it to open 200 stores by the end of 2002.

Decision in trademark saga

Tomorrow parliament will finally decide who owns the foreign registrations of more than twenty well-known trademark vodkas. Both Agros and the Polmos companies have been fighting for them for ten years using both legal and economic arguments. The winner will have the right to export these lucrative brands.

US fund moves on radio

Advent, a US based investment fund and one of the owners of Radio Zet which broadcasts nationwide is negotiating a share of Warsaw station Radio Kolor. There are also two other candidates but they have a lot of catching up to do. Analysts of the radio industry think that the accession of Advent to Radio Kolor could be a serious challenge for Radio Pogoda which playing music from the sixties, seventies and eighties has a similar audience to Kolor. Kolor has been attempting since last year to get licences to operate in Bydgoszcz, Sopot, Toruń, Kielce, Białystok, Kalisz, Lublin, Łódż, Olsztyn, Opole, Rzeszów and Zielona Góra. It currently has two percent of the listeners in Poland and occupies seventh position of all radio stations in the country. It is surpassed only by Radio Pogoda as far as listenership is concerned for a local station.

Austrian fund in Polish Internet

The Austrian investment fund red-stars. com has announced that it will invest between PLN32m - PLN40m in the acquisition of Polish companies. Red-stars.com has already invested in four projects in Central Europe and claims that it has already earmarked two Polish projects. The first is in e-business and the second is a specialised portal.

The fund currently has EUR15m of capital and is placing between EUR280,000 - EUR1.7m per project. Wolfgang Hetlinger, MD of red-stars. com says the company is somewhere between incubator and venture capital fund.

Twenty five percent of the fund belongs to Siemens. The German concern has so far invested EUR12m in the fund. Investment in Polish companies involves red-stars taking a share which can be anywhere between 10 and 100 percent. The company claims that it does not interfere with management. Plans for withdrawing from these commitments are to arrange a stock market entry or to find a second tier investor.

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Podpis: Alan Heath

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Inspiracje Pulsu Biznesu

Puls Biznesu

Puls Inwestora / Polish Business Survey