By Jaroslaw Adamowski, European Plastics News correspondent
London -- Chinese group Wanhua Industrial has its eye on the Polish toluene diisocyanate (TDI) business run as Zachem, a subsidiary of the country's leading chemical group Ciech, according to reports in local media.
Plans by Ciech to sell Poland's only TDI production facility were announced in March 2012 by the group's chief executive Ryszard Kunicki, following Zachem's disappointing financial results last year.
Wanhua began its acquisitions in the Eastern European plastics industry in January 2012 with the purchase of Hungarian PVC manufacturer BorsodChem. However, the Chinese group is not the only producer expressing interest in taking over the Polish production facility, according to Krystyna Koscianek, a spokesperson for Ciech.
"We have received queries about the possible sale [of Zachem] from a number of domestic and foreign companies," Koscianek said.
The final decision regarding the sale will be made after Zachem's market perspectives are thoroughly analysed by the Polish chemical group, the spokesperson said.
Set up in December 1948, Zachem is based in Bydgoszcz, Poland. The manufacturer was acquired by Ciech in late 2006.
In addiition to the 75-kilotonnes-per-annum (ktpa) TDI facility, the company is also Poland's sole supplier of epichlorohydrin. The Bydgoszcz plant supplies its products mostly to the automotive and furniture industry. Zachem has a workforce of about 760.
Zachem's operations include a 25 ktpa facility to make flexible foam at the Bydgoszcz site -- called the Bydgoszcz Technology Park.
In Q1 2012, the Polish TDI manufacturer posted revenues of some 208 million zloty ($66 million), down 16.8 percent from 250 million zloty in Q2 2011, and an EBITDA of 1.69 million zloty, an increase from a loss of 7.3 million zloty in Q1 2011, according to initial estimates released by Zachem.