ANNOUNCEMENT 08 Sep 2015In September 2015, the government of Poland announced a change in private-sector financial support.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
Press release by the Treasury Ministry (in Polish)
Secondary Source (in English)
Media report about EC's reaction (in Polish)
On 8 September 2015, the Polish Ministry of Treasury announced it would transfer minority shares of the state-owned enterprises PGNiG (2%), PZU (1%) and PGE (1%) to the Silesia Financial Agency (henceforth: TF Silesia), a capital investment vehicle aimed at supporting the Polish industry.
The transfer is estimated to be worth 1.446 billion PLN (341 million EUR) and was conducted to bolster TF Silesia, which shall become part of the New Coal Group ("Nowa Kompania Weglowa", henceforth: NKW). This would reposition TF Silesia to target the coal industry in particular - whereas until now it has supported ten Polish companies in different industries.
The Treasury Ministry said the following at the press conference announcing the transfer in relation to the NKW: "We are in constant contact with the European Commission and present our arguments demonstrating that the recapitalization of the NKW should not be considered as aid.
The reforms carried out by us are practically the first attempt to adapt the operation of coal mining to the requirements of the free market. The previous attempts simply led to providing money without structural changes, treating only the symptoms of the disease.
We are creating a completely new company with a new capital structure and a clear plan of action for the coming years. This entity should quickly regain liquidity and payment capacity, while fitting the functioning of the current market needs. This is the meaning of the restructuring plan. There is no question about overeating the capital injection".
On 24 September 2015, Polish media reported the financing method of the NKW would collapse, as the European Commission would probably deem the state aid not in line with the single market.
At the end of September, the government decided to withdraw its plan to transfer the shares to NKW. According to the media, the decision was made after the European Commission had signalled to the government that the aid would be incompatible with EU's law.
On 15 March 2016, under a new government, three Polish state-owned energy companies agreed to provide 1.5 billion PLN under a number of conditions (cf. Related Measures).
The GTA includes state guarantees and other financial incentives that are likely to affect the restructuring and performance of firms facing international competition, whether from imports, in export markets, and from foreign subsidiaries.