LUKoil Drops Planned Joint Bid For Polish Rafineria Gdanska With Rotch Energy

Lukoil, which is Russia's largest oil producer, has dropped plans to bid together with the UK-based Rotch Energy for the Polish refiner Rafineria Gdanska SA, making it likely that the Polish government will end yearlong talks the British trader.

Lukoil, which was expected yesterday to file a joint bid with Rotch for three quarters of Poland's second largest refinery, said it is still interested in the stake without Rotch. Talks with Rotch have dragged on as the company has been unable to raise the cash it needs to pay for the stake, valued at about $300 million.

“The increase of oil refining capacity outside of Russia is the company's strategy,” Lukoil said in a statement e-mailed to news wires.

The Polish government, under pressure by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the European Union and other international agencies to pick up the pace of state asset sales as it seeks to join the EU in 2004, has been trying to sell Gdanska Rafineria for four years.


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