East German industry poised for jolting unification changes
Practically all major German oil companies, including subsidiaries of international companies, showed up in force as exhibitors at the centuries old Leipzig, East Germany, trade fair last month.
Their mission: to publicize their positions, acquire or set up new companies, and make contacts in eastern Europe.
Subsidiaries such as Esso AG and Deutsche Shell have been given the responsibility of doing business and setting up operations in all of eastern Europe, not just East Germany. But the latter is where the focus is as Germany heads toward official unification Oct. 3.
East German refining, petrochemical, and related companies were there, too, housed in exhibition stands that belied their poverty. Many bear once famous names and were advertising their management, capabilities, and technologies in hope of finding a white knight from the West.
About 3,000 East German companies will in the coming few months have to prove they can survive and make a profit. If not, they will be shut down.
Practically all in the refining and petrochemical sector will need to cut …