On February 5, the Supreme Audit Office will present a report on the merger of Orlen and Lotos, said Marian Banaś, president of the Supreme Audit Office. He also added that there were serious findings of mismanagement regarding the purchase and renovation of the National Prosecutor’s Office building.
In July 2023 Supreme Chamber of Control prepared a report regarding, among others, merger of Orlen with Lotos after inspection by the Ministry of State Assets. “Black and white” journalists Łukasz Frątczak and Dariusz Kubik they found a still unpublished document. According to the Supreme Audit Office, Saudi Aramco paid PLN 7.2 billion less for the Lotos part than it was worth.
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The President of the Supreme Audit Office on the publication of the results of the inspection of the merger of Orlen and Lotos
As reported by the president of the Supreme Audit Office Marian Banaś on Polsat News, on February 5, a report on the merger of Orlen with Lotos will be presented at a press conference. – The price for Lotos was lowered – confirmed Banaś. However, he did not want to clearly confirm that it was PLN 4 billion.
– The data we obtained from the Ministry of State Assets and the Ministry of Environment and Climate clearly show that such an underestimation took place. However, we were not allowed to undergo the inspection, so it is difficult to say whether this underestimation is true. Only after the inspection in Orlen will we be able to confirm – said the president of the Supreme Audit Office.
Marian Banaś announced that a report with the findings so far will be presented next Monday at a press conference. In his opinion, the report, despite the lack of direct control, will be credible because NIK auditors “are there to work on documents.”
Investigation into the Orlen case
On Tuesday, KO MP Agnieszka Pomaska announcedthat the District Prosecutor’s Office in Płock has initiated an investigation into two cases related to Orlen.
The spokeswoman of the District Prosecutor’s Office in Płock, prosecutor Iwona Śmigielska-Kowalska, announced that the investigation into the merger of Orlen (then PKN Orlen) with Grupa Lotos in 2022 was initiated after the notifications were submitted.
An investigation was initiated into the abuse of powers and failure to fulfill duties by members of the management board of PKN Orlen, as well as other persons dealing with the company’s property matters, in connection with conducting negotiations, setting conditions and signing agreements regarding the merger of PKN Orlen with Grupa Lotos in Gdańsk, and then signing agreements related to the sale of shares to Saudi Aramco, which caused significant damage to PKN Orlen in the amount of no less than PLN 4 billion.
In February 2018, the company signed a letter of intent with the then Ministry of Energy to start the process of Orlen taking over capital control over Grupa Lotos. In June 2022, Orlen received consent from the European Commission to merge with Grupa Lotos, and the management boards of both companies agreed and signed the Merger Plan. A necessary condition for finalizing the transaction was the consent of the shareholders of Orlen and Grupa Lotos regarding the terms of the merger, which happened in July 2022.
Earlier, in January 2022, in accordance with the requirements of the European Commission, Orlen presented remedial measures planned in connection with the takeover of Grupa Lotos. At that time, it was reported, among other things, that the Hungarian MOL would take over 417 gas stations of the Lotos Group network in Poland, while Orlen would buy 144 gas stations from MOL in Hungary and 41 gas stations on Slovakia. The fuel and asphalt logistics area within the Lotos Terminale company will be purchased by Unimot. Lotos Biopaliwa will be purchased by Rossi Biofuel.
At that time, Orlen emphasized that it had also negotiated with Saudi Aramco that it would buy 30 percent. shares of the Lotos Group refinery in Gdańsk and agreed a long-term contract for deliveries from PLN 200,000. up to 337 thousand barrels of oil per day, while the target volume of supplies of Saudi raw material should be 20 million tons per year. The company estimated that these supplies could meet up to 45 percent. total demand of the entire Orlen Group – after the takeover of Lotos – both in Poland and abroad Lithuania and in Czech Republic.
President of the Supreme Audit Office on the audit of the National Prosecutor’s Office
The President also talked about the findings so far regarding two other inspections. One of them concerns the purchase and renovation of the building of the National Prosecutor’s Office at ul. Progress in Warsaw.
– The inspection took place now, in recent months. It concerned the purchase and renovation of this building. We have very serious findings related to mismanagement. We are conducting an analysis and a report will probably be submitted to the prosecutor’s office regarding mismanagement, said the president of the Supreme Audit Office.
He added that when it comes to renovation, the amount originally allocated was PLN 15 million, but ultimately it was almost PLN 80 million.
On Wednesday – as Banaś said – the Supreme Audit Office also carried out an audit of the purchase of respirators, masks and protective clothing during the pandemic for half a billion.
– The auditors are working on notifying the prosecutor’s office – revealed the president of the Supreme Audit Office. In his opinion, the decision regarding this purchase was made in the office of the then Prime Minister Morawiecki.
Main photo source: PawelCebo/Shutterstock