Bloomberg News

Poland Raises $1.2 Billion From Stake in PZU, Top Insurer

June 10, 2011

(Updates with share price in fourth paragraph.)

June 10 (Bloomberg) -- Poland raised 3.17 billion zloty ($1.2 billion) by selling 10 percent of PZU SA, the country’s largest insurer, bringing in cash to finance the budget deficit.

The government, which owned 45.2 percent of PZU before the transaction, sold 8.6 million shares for 367 zloty each yesterday, the Treasury Ministry said in a statement on its website today. The sale was oversubscribed and half of the shares were bought by foreign investors, Treasury Minister Aleksander Grad said on TVN CNBC television today.

Poland aims to raise 15 billion zloty from state asset sales in 2011 to staunch the deficit and curb public debt. The country has raised more than 6 billion zloty selling stakes in companies including power utility Tauron Polska Energia SA and agricultural lender Bank Gospodarki Zywnosciowej SA, Grad said.

PZU shares gained 0.4 percent to 373 zloty at 10:03 a.m. in Warsaw, climbing for the first time in four days. The stock sank as much as 5.1 percent to 366.3 zloty yesterday, the steepest intraday decline since it began trading a year ago.

Credit Suisse Group AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., ING Group NV, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and UniCredit SpA managed the PZU sale.

The PZU sale came one week after the insurer’s shareholders agreed to limit owners’ voting rights to 10 percent, a move that will allow the government to retain control after cutting its stake. Poland already passed similar rules at PKO Bank Polski SA in April and is seeking to do so at PGE SA, the country’s largest power utility.

The government plans to offer a stake in PKO, the nation’s biggest lender, in September. Next week it will start a sale of a 33 percent stake in coal producer Jastrzebska Spolka Weglowa SA, whose initial public offering is set to be Poland’s biggest this year.

--Editors: Nathaniel Espino, James M. Gomez

To contact the reporters on this story: Marta Waldoch in Warsaw at mwaldoch@bloomberg.net; Pawel Kozlowski in Warsaw pkozlowski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net


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