On Tuesday, July 28th, at a meeting of the District Court in Częstochowa, the trustee selected Sunningwell Steel Polska S.A. as the future owner of Huta Częstochowa. The choice was approved by a judge-commissioner. After the decision becomes legally binding, the company will have two months to pay the offered amount and sign the contract of sale of the enterprise.
This was the second tender for the assets of the bankrupt ISD Huta Czestochowa. After the failure of the first one, when no offer was received, the trustee, with the court’s consent, announced it on 5 June. The deadline for submitting bids was set at 14.00 on Monday 27 July. A day later the court meeting was to consider them. Bidders were also obliged to pay a deposit of 10 percent of the starting price set at PLN 220 million.
One bidder was submitted within the deadline – Sunningwell Steel Polska SA, which also paid the bid security deposit. When the court session began on Tuesday at 12 noon, it turned out that there was also a second offer. On that day, at 10.47 a.m. Corween Investments sp. z o.o., a company associated with the British holding company Liberty House Group, submitted an offer. It did so after the deadline and did not pay the deposit. At the court session, a lawyer representing the company asked for an extension of the payment deadline to 3 August and postponement for one week of consideration of the offers.
Judge Commissioner Małgorzata Brzózka-Chamala rejected this request on the grounds that the deadlines had been known for a long time. Huta Częstochowa’s receiver Mateusz Bienioszek stated that information on the tender rules was available to everyone and added that he was in constant contact with all those who had expressed an interest in Huta.
Then the trustee opened both offers. Sunningwell Steel Polska offered PLN 220 million for the Steelworks and Corween Investments – PLN 222 million. Due to the absence of a bid security deposit, Mateusz Bienioszek stated that Corween Investments’ offer did not meet the tender conditions and chose Sunningwell Steel Polska’s offer.
Corween Investments’ attorney raised the argument that the rejected offer is for a higher amount. However, the commissioner’s judge pointed out that submitting the documents after the deadline and the absence of a bid security deposit, reduced the credibility of Corween Investments’ offer, and then issued a decision to approve the selection of Sunningwell Steel Polska’s offer.
Within seven days Corween Investments may submit a request to draw up a statement of reasons for the decision, and then challenge the decision. If the decision becomes final, Sunningwell Steel Polska will have two months to pay the remaining part of the proposed amount and sign the sale agreement of Huta Częstochowa with the trustee.
The court session was also attended by the President of MZZ of Huta Częstochowa Employees Jerzy Duda, as a representative of all six trade unions operating in the company.
The money obtained from the sale will be used to satisfy the claims of creditors of the bankrupt ISD Huta Częstochowa sp. z o.o. in accordance with the plan to distribute the funds of the bankruptcy estate. Sunningwell Steel Polska S.A. is a company which, within the Sunningwell group, is to form a steel holding, including Sunningwell International Polska Sp. z o.o., i.e. the company which has been leasing Huta Częstochowa from 19 September 2019. At that time, the company resumed and continues production, currently employing 1165 people. The lease agreement was concluded with a trustee for 12 months.