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Top Polimex shareholder wants cut in equity raising plan

WARSAW, Oct 12 (Reuters) - The biggest shareholder in beleaguered Polish builder Polimex on Friday proposed watering down the management's plan to raise around 500 million zlotys ($158 million), three days before the plan is to be voted on by shareholders.

Pension fund manager ING PTE, which has a stake of just over 16 percent, said it wants to halve the size of a rights issue, part of a management plan which also includes converting debt to shares and having the state restructuring agency acquire a stake.

The plan should raise enough capital to get Polimex out of its financial difficulties, but at the same time it will have the effect of diluting the stakes of existing shareholders.

Polimex, valued at 339 million zlotys ($107 million), is the largest of dozens of Polish construction groups to run into trouble after Poland's motorway-building programme for the Euro 2012 soccer tournament turned sour, leaving builders deeply in debt.

The ARP restructuring agency said in September it planned to take a stake of up to one third in Polimex and would either buy new shares worth 250 million zlotys, or 150 million zlotys worth of new shares and warrants.

The management's plan assumed this share issue could be followed up by a rights issue worth around 104 million zlotys, but ING PTE says half of the sum would be sufficient. The fund also proposed a smaller share weighting for the debt conversion.

"The management had declared the sums it wanted to raise. After ARP's declarations, it seems the issues satisfy the company's needs," ING PTE's deputy chief executive Ewa Radkowska-Swieton told Reuters by phone.

She refused to comment on whether ING's proposal was discussed with other Polimex shareholders. ($1 = 3.1588 Polish zlotys)

(Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko, Writing by Maciej Onoszko; Editing by Toby Chopra)

((maciej.onoszko@thomsonreuters.com)(+48 22 653 97 11)(Reuters Messaging: maciej.onoszko.reuters.com@thomsonreuters.net))

Keywords: POLIMEX ISSUE