PKN ORLEN S.A. and Aramco Overseas Company B.V. have been cleared to establish a joint venture that will operate the Gdańsk Refinery, a key refinery asset in Poland. On 31 August 2022, both companies received a permit from the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) to go ahead with the project. Our SMM Legal Competition Law Team managed by Prof. Maciej Mataczyński provided PKN ORLEN S.A. with legal assistance throughout the concentration notification process and the entire anti-monopoly procedure.
The concentration notification was lodged with the UOKiK on 10 June 2022. Then, for more than two months, the authority was examining the transaction’s potential adverse impact on competition in the relevant market.
‘Although UOKiK’s involvement in investments involving the establishment of joint ventures is a standard practice, this has been anything but a standard case,’ explains Prof. Maciej Mataczyński, Managing Partner at SMM Legal. ‘It pertained to the establishment of a joint venture that will operate the already existing Gdańsk refinery, in compliance with the requirements laid down by the European Commission in its decision issued in the PKN ORLEN/ Grupa LOTOS case,’ adds Prof. Mataczyński.
Our advisors’ role was to convince the authority that the planned merger poses no threat to competition in the Polish market. Other SMM Lawyers actively working on the case included Piotr Andrzejewski, Michał Wojtkowiak and Wojciech Rzepiński.
‘The procedure before the UOKiK ended after the first phase’, explains Piotr Andrzejewski, who has been involved in the case. ‘We feel deeply satisfied with the work well done, as the unconditional approval issued by the authority allows both parties to pursue their business goals’, adds Mr. Andrzejewski.
The planned transaction will be carried out in performance of the remedies imposed on PKN ORLEN S.A. by the European Commission in connection with merger with Grupa Lotos. This is yet another step that brings the parties closer to its full implementation.