Iron and Steel

Ukraine cancels privatisation tender on titanium and zirconium miner

Ukraine cancels privatisation tender on titanium and zirconium miner
Mining News Pro - Ukraine has cancelled the privatisation auction for the sale of Europe's largest titanium and zirconium miner, United Mining and Chemical Company (UMCC), due to the lack of participants, the state property fund said on Friday.

The fund said in June the auction was due to take place on August 31 and the starting price for 100% of UMCC had been set at 3.7-billion hryvnias (about $136-million).

Local media have said the timetable for the deal just proved too tight and the fund said it would push back the auction to give potential investors more time.

"Postponing the auction will allow potential bidders to finalize documents and re-submit bid," the fund said in a statement.

The deal was meant to become the first successful privatisation auction of a large state-owned enterprise since a 2014 uprising led to pro-Western leadership in Ukraine.

In 2016, Ukraine failed to sell state fertiliser group Odessa Portside Plant (OPP) because of a lack of bids.

UMCC is among the top 10 global miners of titanium and zirconium ores and its share of the global market was 2.3% for ilmenite, 6.2% for rutile and 1.4% for zircon in 2020, according to Ukrainian officials.

UMCC provides raw materials which have a wide range of uses including steelmaking, glassmaking and traditional ceramics, with titanium also used as an important alloying agent.

Ukraine aims to raise about 12-billion hryvnias by selling state assets in 2021 to partially finance the state budget deficit, which was approved at 5.5% of gross domestic product.

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