VILNIUS - Poland's PKN Orlen has announced that it would implement a mandatory buyout option for all shares in the Mazeikiu Nafta refinery owned by minority shareholders, which amount to less than 1 percent of outstanding shares. The company has also reportedly stepped up its search for production assets now that the company has finalized a change in management.
According to a statement, PKN Orlen has signed a deal with the government, which has retained a 10 percent stake in Mazeikiu Nafta, the Baltics' only refinery, to buy out all outstanding shares in the company. Currently PKN Orlen owns 89.26 percent of the Mazeikiai-based refinery, which means the buyout will affect some 0.74 percent of outstanding stock.
PKN Orlen said it will offer 10.25 litas (2.97 euros) per share, which is equal to the amount the company offered for shares in a tender conducted earlier this year.
"Unlike the previous procedures the mandatory sale is compulsory and will result in PKN Orlen acquiring all the remaining shares in the refinery, with the exception of shares owned by the government of the Republic of Lithuania," the company said.
The Polish retail fuel company purchased a 53.7 percent stake in Mazeikiu Nafta from Russia's Yukos last year and another 30 percent from the Lithuanian government.
Meanwhile, Polish media has reported that PKN Orlen is hoping to gain access to oil reserves in Kazakhstan. It has already opened a representative office in the Central Asian country and mapped out a production strategy, according to the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita.
At present PKN Orlen is purely a downstream company and does not have its own production operations. This was one of the main bones of contention in Lithuania during the company's campaign to buy a controlling stake in Mazeikiu Nafta. Many Lithuanian politicians feared a repeat of the Williams International fiasco, but in the end PKN Orlen's assurances that it could come up with the crude and other feedstock for the refinery won the day.
According to Polish media, PKN Orlen is hoping to acquire its first oil producing asset in Kazakhstan this year.