| WARSAW, Sept 16
WARSAW, Sept 16 Poland's state-owned railway
company PKP has asked a Warsaw court to annul the sale last year
of its utility business PKP Energetyka to private equity fund
CVC Capital Partners, PKP said on Friday.
CVC bought PKP Energetyka from the state railway company in
July last year for 1.41 billion zlotys ($367 million) excluding
debt, or 1.97 billion zlotys including debt.
The sale was criticised by the then opposition Law and
Justice (PiS) party, which won elections in October. PiS has
said PKP Energetyka is key to Poland's energy security and
should not be controlled by a private fund.
"We confirm filing a motion (to the court)," a PKP
spokeswoman said, confirming a report by state-owned news agency
CVC said it did not know the content of the motion, nor any
circumstances during the privatisation process that would
justify filing such a motion.
"The privatisation process was fully transparent, in line
with the law and has been verified by the prosecutors office and
the Supreme Audit Chamber revealing no irregularities," said the
representative of CVC for Poland, Krzysztof Krawczyk.
PKP Energetyka's spokesman said the situation was not
affecting the functioning of the company.
Since coming to power, PiS has called a halt to
privatisations, changed management in almost all state-run
companies and questioned the rationale and pricing of the
previous government's stake sales.
For example, it has questioned its predecessor's
privatisation of chemicals group Ciech and the sale of
some of the state's shares in miner KGHM.
In April, anti-corruption agency CBA raided the Warsaw
offices of and its majority owner Kulczyk Holding in an
investigation into the privatisation.
Market sources have told Reuters that CVC is eyeing a number
of assets for sale in Poland, including Nasper's Allegro,
convenience store chain Zabka owned by private equity firm Mid
Europa, as well as central and eastern European beer brands put
on sale by SABMiller.
($1 = 3.8446 zlotys)
(Editing by David Clarke)