The thriller involving Ravako has been going on for years and has already seen many twists and turns. There are several signs that the company’s general meeting scheduled for Thursday may give the final answer to the question – what’s next for the Polish company from Raciborz, which employs nearly 900 people. Shareholders will decide whether to approve the unconditional conversion of debt into company shares. This solution is required by the state-owned enterprises of the Polish Development Fund Group: PFR TFI and Export Credit Insurance Company (KUKE), which fully controls about 11 percent. Ravako shares, as well as the Industrial Development Agency, which had previously lent Raciborz PLN 100 million.
Its main owner, PBG, has a different plan to rescue the company (it owns 26.4% of Ravaco shares). This conflict led to On Monday, there was an unexpected change in Ravaco’s board of directors, another change this year. Dawud Jaworski, the PFR-backed president, lost his position and was replaced by PBG-backed Robert Kurazkiewicz.
— The expectations of the Supervisory Board have not changed: to put the company back on track, reduce its debts while ensuring financing, maintain Ravaco’s expertise and provide jobs, thus ensuring a secure future for employees. The condition for this to happen is full cooperation and settlement with creditors and shareholders, said Piotr Zimmermann, Chairman of Rafaco’s Supervisory Board.
He added that Attempts to place responsibility for the company’s fate on the decisions of the largest shareholders regarding debt transfers “are a distraction to public opinion and employees from the real problems.” Because it is in the interest of Ravaco shareholders, and therefore also in the interest of PBG bondholders, not only to survive, but also to develop and increase the value of the company.
The patience of state-owned companies is running out
PFR Group received the decision to dismiss Ravaco’s board of directors “with surprise and concern.” – It seems that the sacked board’s plan to save the company has been accepted by all shareholders. It was a real opportunity to restore financial stability by converting debt into equity and providing funds to meet new demands. Financing from PFR Group companies and insurance guarantees provided by KUKE will restore Rafaco’s credibility in the market. Suddenly, another change occurs and a new board of directors appears this year and everything will start from scratch. We’re talking about looking for an investor again. We probably have a month before the company runs out of money – Comments Janusz Władyczak, President of KUKE.
He points out that for several years, PBG has been unable to convince anyone to invest specific funds in Ravaco. Negotiations on the takeover of Racibórz were led by, among others, MS Galleon owned by billionaire Michał Sołowow, but they pulled out. Later, Paweł Gricuk’s company PG Energy entered the game, but the talks have been inconclusive so far.
— Unfortunately, PBG seems to have the support of some banks – their bondholders, whose representative sits on the supervisory board and makes the same decisions. In addition, false information is being distributed that PFR Group institutions are doing nothing to help Ravako. These are the details from our side: postponement of installment payments, promises, as well as tens of millions of zlotys in aid to the company. What do we have on the other side? Another change of face before the shareholders meeting resumes. The level of trust in the actions and intentions of the other party is close to zero. “We sympathize with Ravako employees about the situation,” Władyczak said.
Also, according to Piotr Kuba, Member of the Investment Management Board of PFR TFI, in order to recover Ravako, it is necessary to convert a number of receivables into company shares. – This is the company’s only chance to survive. I realize this results in shareholder dilution, however There is no other option to pay off these debts. Without conversion, the company will ceaseBecause the debtor will not be able to participate in new tenders, and the lack of applications means no income, so his situation will only deteriorate. For Ravaco, it’s a closed circle. Now we still have a chance to get out of this situation, says Cuba.
In July, the general meeting of shareholders approved such a transfer, but on the condition that the main shareholder, PBG, sell its shares in Ravaco to an investor. – Did not succeed. We are back to square one, but it’s worse, because Ravaco has had four lost months – confirms Cuba.
Confirms that PFR Group is working on a proposal for further financial instruments for Rafako – a loan from PFR, a line of credit from ARP and guarantees from KUKE with a total value of more than PLN 200 million.
So far, we see that PBG is constantly delaying the decision, testing how many more months the company can survive. But there is no more time. The Company’s current suspension status cannot be extended indefinitely. I am convinced that Rafako has a chance to win new contracts and participate in Poland’s energy transition, but above all, it needs debt relief through conversion and an industrial investor who will take new shares in the company – says Koba.
According to him, without an investor in the industry, the company will not have a chance to exploit the opportunities available to it. – where In our opinion, the investor’s entry into the company and payment of money to the company from the issuance of new shares cannot be conditional upon the investor’s purchase of existing shares of PBG. This approach has already been implemented by PBG and has not worked, and now a different approach is needed. Especially since after the liquidation of PBG, bondholders will receive Ravaco shares in their investment accounts. It is a pity about the wasted potential of the company and the 900 jobs in Ravaco – A member of the Board of Directors of PFR TFI has been added.
Will the new government intervene?
Our information shows that the lack of approval at Thursday’s general meeting for an unconditional debt transfer could lead to SOEs leaving the negotiating table and withdrawing their aid offer. but The position of the new government may be decisive in resolving this issueWhich will likely be created by the Civic, Third Way and Left coalition. Donald Tusk, who was expected to become Prime Minister, appeared at Ravaco headquarters in January this year and appealed to the PiS government to save the company. This happened when Ravako was in a heated dispute with Torun over the settlement of the construction of the coal unit at the Javorzno power station. The facility was built at a cost of over PLN 6 billion, with major delays and major problems, and Rafako almost collapsed due to this contract. Eventually, an agreement was reached with Torun.
— The government and state treasury companies are there to support Polish companies and Polish industry, not to bring them down. – Tusk said then.
The task of putting out another fire in Ravaco will now fall to the new government.
In its announcement on Monday, written after the change in management, the company clearly stated that “converting debt into equity is a necessary, but not sufficient, element for the company to move forward straight forward,” because “this is what it is for.”It is necessary to take new measures to ensure that the company’s operations continue without interruption“The only question is who will provide this new money to Ravaco,” he said.
Author: Barbara Oksinska, journalist at Business Insider Polska
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