(Adds more shareholder comment, Unipetrol strategy details)
PRAGUE, March 22 Czech downstream oil group
Unipetrol's biggest minority shareholder said it will
take legal action against the company's acquisition of chemicals
Unipetrol acquired Czech-based Spolana from its Polish
parent PKN Orlen last year, but the move was opposed by
Unipetrol's minority shareholders who said they feared having to
pay for needed investments. PKN is also Unipetrol's biggest
"We consider the purchase of Spolana to be strongly
disadvantageous, burdening the (Unipetrol) group with
unproductive future CAPEX (capital expenditure)," Pavel Muchna,
who represents Paulinino Limited - which has a 20 percent stake
in Unipetrol - said in a statement on Wednesday.
"We will defend ourselves against this transaction through
the court, against current and former board members, as well as
majority shareholder PKN Orlen."
Unipetrol had no immediate comment.
Paulinino, part of Czech-Slovak investment group J&T, has
long pushed for Unipetrol to increase its dividend, which
Unipetrol began paying again last year for the first time in
Last week Unipetrol set out plans to systematically raise
its dividend per share ratio, as part of a new corporate
strategy, but said payments would be dependent on financial
stability. It also said it would increase the dividend this year
from the 5.52 crowns per share approved last year.
However, Paulinino, in its statement, said the dividend
strategy was insufficient given that Unipetrol was debt free and
Paulinino also criticised Unipetrol's profit outlook for not
including expected income from insurance payments of up to 7.3
billion Czech crowns ($292 million) from a fire that knocked its
steam cracker out for more than a year, and for another
It also said it would continue to push Unipetrol to be more
specific over its investment plans.
Unipetrol's new strategy targets earnings before interest,
tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of a combined 19.7
billion crowns in 2017-18 as well as investment spending of 16.3
However, analysts and investors said the plan lacked
Unipetrol has also said it would complete a new polyethylene
unit (PE3) but has not detailed its planned investment in
Unipetrol shares closed flat on Wednesday at 223.90 crowns
and have gained 25 percent in the past year.
($1 = 24.9900 Czech crowns)
(Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Jan Lopatka and Susan