Court dismisses Polish plate mill tender delay request

The Czestochowa district court has ordered the administrator of Huta Czestochowa (HCz) to submit by 23 November the terms of the tender for the sale of the bankrupt Polish plate mill. This comes after it dismissed the administrator’s application to extend the deadline for tender terms submission until end-December.

The extension would have likely been to give Sunningwell Steel Polska more time to find a solution to participate in the new tender. The investment firm is the current lessee of the plate mill and, having operated it since September 2019, is best-placed to acquire it.

However, last month the court ordered a third sale tender to be held after Sunningwell, which won the second tender, was adjudged to have failed to come to an agreement to buy the steelworks in the stipulated time (see Kallanish passim). According to Polish law, this rules Sunningwell out from participating in the next tender.

After winning the previous tender, Sunningwell was readying to incorporate HCz into its steel holding. This was set up in 2019 to operate steel assets acquired in Poland, Romania and potentially other Central and Eastern European countries.

The firm said it did not finalise an agreement to purchase the plate mill because crucial documentation was missing. It previously applied to the court to change the tender rules to allow for an extension of the deadline to sign an agreement, but this was dismissed by the court. Sunningwell said last month it was still interested in acquiring HCz and was seeking ways to participate in the next tender.

Electric arc furnace-based HCz has a 1.2 million tonnes/year capacity of heavy plate.