Unipetrol, the Czech oil and chemicals company, has said that it is planning on Friday to replace the general director of majority-owned Ceska Rafinerska, which is locked into a dispute with minority shareholders over product prices.
Unipetrol alleges that Ivan Ottis, who represents the company on Rafinerska's board, sided with minority shareholders when he did not prevent a two day halt in supplies to another unit of the group, Chemopetrol, earlier this month. The minority shareholders are the Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Agip Petroli International and Conoco.
Rafinerska, which is the country's top refiner, and Chemopetrol have agreed on provisional contracts that will be valid for two months. The rift between the two Unipetrol units may derail a plan to sell the rest of Rafinerska to Conoco, threatening the government's agreement to sell Unipetrol to Agrofert, analysts said.
The dispute “is one of the factors that is significantly slowing the sale of Rafinerska,” said Roman Cenek, an analyst at Atlantik Financial Markets.