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Poland's Grajewo hires advisers for Oct share issue - sources
September 1, 2015 / 2:58 PM / 2 years ago

Poland's Grajewo hires advisers for Oct share issue - sources

FRANKFURT/WARSAW, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Polish chipboard maker Grajewo has hired advisers for a 1 billion zloty ($266 million) share issue it is planning for late October, three sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Warsaw-listed Grajewo is majority-owned by privately-held German wood products firm Pfleiderer Service, which in turn is controlled by an investment fund, Atlantik SA.

Grajewo has said the money from the transaction will allow it take over its German parent by buying Atlantik’s shares in Pfleiderer, a role reversal more common as Poland outgrows its position as one of Europe’s poor cousins.

“The transaction will be carried out in the second half of October”, one of the sources said, adding that Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas had been hired to organise the share issue. Another two sources confirmed this.

Grajewo shareholders approved the issue the issue of up to 40 million shares, aimed at Polish investors, in July.

Deutsche Bank and BNP declined to comment.

“Much is already happening, they have already met with analysts. Everything will depend on how attractive the transaction will be,” said a Warsaw-based banker, adding that Commerzbank and PKO BP were also involved.

Commerzbank, which controls Poland’s No.4 lender mBank , was not immediately available for comment.

Grajewo, Pfleiderer and PKO all declined to comment.

Under the new ownership structure, Grajewo would be dominated by Polish investors, mainly investment and pension funds, effectively ending German control.

Some investors are concerned about the timing, as Poland is due to hold general elections in late October that may bring a major change to the political scene.

Opinion polls suggest voters are preparing to dump the centre-right Civic Platform government in office since 2007 and install the conservative Law and Justice party, which is sceptical about ceding more powers to the EU.

Others concerned about the transaction point to the fact that Grajewo’s market value has fallen by almost a fourth to $320 million so far this year.

“Everyone is wondering whether this is just an option for the main shareholder to dump the company - and judging by the share price drop the market is not convinced,” the investment banker said. ($1 = 3.7566 zlotys) (Reporting by Arno Schuetze in Frankfurt, Adrian Krajewski and Marcin Goclowski in Warsaw; Writing by Marcin Goclowski; editing by David Clarke)

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