Energy 10 April, 2020 11:00 am   
Editorial staff

Orlen enters a decisive stage of talks with the EC on the merger with Lotos

PKN Orlen was given the opportunity by the European Commission to learn the results of its analyzes carried out in the second phase of the proceeding regarding the acquisition of Grupa Lotos.

PKN Orlen explains that in accordance with practice for this phase, the “Statement of Objections” procedure was used. – Written submission of comments by the European Commission will make it easier for PKN Orlen to adapt the proposals for remedial measures to the guidelines of the Commission and to submit them formally in the near future – says PKN Orlen in a press release. Expressing consent to concentration, preceded by the European Commission issuing a “Statement of Objections”, is – as argued by PKN Orlen – standard practice. In the last three years it has been used, among others in cases: T-Mobile NL – Tele2 NL, Dow – DuPont, Bayer – Monsanto or ArcelorMittal – Ilva. All of them ended with a favorable decision and consent or conditional consent from the Commission to carry out the merger.

The Statement of Objections issued by the European Commission does not include suggestions for remedies, which will soon be formally submitted by PKN Orlen. – They will be the result of months of talks with both the EC and other market participants. The company expects that it will fully answer the doubts signaled by the Commission and will allow a positive decision to be taken regarding the takeover of the Lotos Group by the assumed date, i.e. by the end of the first half of this year – says PKN Orlen.

Orlen still intends to take over Lotos

– We are determined to carry out the acquisition of Grupa Lotos. The current situation on the fuel and energy market shows best that companies must diversify their operations, as this increases their resistance to macroeconomic fluctuations and the geopolitical situation. The acquisition of Grupa Lotos is a rational business step – says Daniel Obajtek, President of the Management Board of PKN Orlen. In his opinion, in the long run, it will strengthen both companies and ensure their functioning and maintain a competitive position on the international market. – It will also increase Poland’s energy security. The reservations issued by the European Commission are not a surprise to us. This is a natural stage in more complex proceedings, which is the merger with Grupa Lotos. The Commission presents its comments for the first time in such full form in writing. We will certainly analyze them carefully and refer to them while making a formal proposal for remedies. We believe that they will dispel the concerns of the Commission – continued Daniel Obajtek.

​The acquisition of Grupa LOTOS by PKN ORLEN was initiated in February 2018 by signing a letter of intent with the State Treasury, holding 53.19% of voting rights at the General Meeting of Grupa LOTOS. In April 2018, a due diligence process was commenced at Grupa LOTOS, in which its commercial, financial, legal and tax situation was examined ahead of the planned acquisition. In July last year, PKN ORLEN filed a formal application for the European Commission’s approval of the concentration. Additionally, an agreement was signed at the end of August 2019 between PKN ORLEN, the Polish State Treasury and Grupa LOTOS, defining a framework structure for the proposed acquisition of the Gdańsk-based company.