The Polish treasury has finally settled its lengthy dispute with pan-European financial group Eureko by giving it the go-ahead to purchase a further 21% stake in the privatised Polish insurance group PZU, which covers 60% of the domestic market.
The move would give Eureko a controlling stake in one of the country’s largest open pension funds Zlote Jesien, run by PZU subsidiary PTE PZU. The long-running dispute had become a major source of embarrassment in Poland and cast a black cloud over international investment.
In a statement, Poland’s treasury minister Aldona Kamela-Sowinska announced that Eureko, which together with Gdansk-based bank BIG BG owns 30% of PZU, can buy a majority share in the company at a price to be set in an official IPO.
The group bought its initial stake in 1999 for a price of Zlty3bn (e837m).
A source working close to the deal commented: “We’re glad it’s over, because it would have created a terrible image for Poland as far as foreign investors go. I was speaking to one insurance company recently that was thinking about investing in Poland and they had decided not to do so for the time being. One of the reasons was that they were not happy with what was happening in the Eureko/PZU affair.”