June 5, 2012 / 2:16 PM / 5 years ago

Poland seeks counter-bid for Tarnow-sources

WARSAW, June 5 (Reuters) - Poland's state treasury is seeking an alternative bidder to avoid selling its top chemicals group Azoty Tarnow to Russia's Acron, two sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

Last month, Acron called a 1.5-billion-zloty ($426.51 million) bid to seize control in Tarnow and expand its presence into the European Union.

Shares in Tarnow have consistently traded above the 36 zlotys per share offered by Acron, implying investors expect the bid to be sweetened. Tarnow's largest shareholder with a 32-percent holding, the treasury, has said previously that the offer was too low.

"The treasury is hesitant about Acron's offer and is trying to find a 'white knight'," one market source said. "The ministry is trying to persuade local partners, for instance funds."

A second source confirmed the treasury was seeking another bidder.

The treasury had no comment.

Sales of state assets to companies from Poland's communist-era master Russia are a sensitive issue in the European Union member given the historical tensions between the two countries. ($1 = 3.5169 Polish zlotys) ($1 = 33.4765 Russian roubles) (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko and Adrian Krajewski; editing by Patrick Graham)

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