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Sij rejects speculation it wants to enter Petrol

Ljubljana, 05 November (STA) - The Russian-owned steel maker Sij dismissed on Tuesday speculation it was interested in taking over energy trader Petrol. Its press release says the company "did not and that does not have such an interest and also does not plan to enter Petrol's ownership structure in the future".

"The recent overhaul of Petrol's management board was accompanied by repeated reports about potential Russian interests in the takeover of this company, interests that the media also linked to the ownership of Sij," the company wrote.

"Aiming to prevent the spreading of false information", Sij denied any plans to enter the state-controlled energy company.

With the supervisors and former management remaining tight-lipped about the detailed reasons for the overhaul, speculation continues about the background of the unexpected move.

Some have suggested it was the result of Russian interest to enter Petrol, noting the latter's chief supervisor Nada Drobne Popovič also serves as the CFO of metalworks company Acroni, a member of SIJ Group.

Drobne Popović, who is now Petrol's interim director general, said on 25 October "the management and the supervisors had a significantly different view on the implementation of the adopted strategy".

She dismissed allegations about Russian interests, while also rejecting claims she had acted on behalf of political players.

Assessing that what has been revealed so far by Petrol did not provide shareholders with enough information about the developments, state asset custodian Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) said it would call a shareholders' meeting by the end of this week.

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