Friday, August 6, 2010

Romania to Sell Part of Petrom Holding on Exchange

August 05, 2010

Aug. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Romania plans to sell a 9.8 percent stake in OMV Petrom SA, the country’s largest oil company, on the Bucharest exchange to raise investment funds and attract foreign capital, Economy Minister Adriean Videanu said.

The state will sell less than an initially planned 11.8 percent because it wants to remain a “significant” shareholder with at least 10 percent, retaining the right to call a general shareholders’ meeting, Videanu said today in Bucharest. The government owns 20.6 percent and Austria’s OMV AG 51 percent.

“We aim to select a broker for the sale by mid-September and get the sale done by the end of this year,” he said. “One of our major goals is to attract foreign capital flows. We want to attract the major players on European markets.”

The government aims to use part of the proceeds to take part in a planned sale of new shares by Petrom, Videanu said. Petrom is seeking to raise as much as 600 million euros ($790 million) by selling shares before the end of April to maintain funds for investments, estimated at 6.9 billion lei ($2.1 billion) this year and 1.2 billion euros to 1.5 billion euros over the next years, the company said on April 30.

Petrom was first listed on the exchange in 2001. OMV bought a 51 percent stake in 2004. Petrom shares rose 2.15 percent to 0.332 lei today in Bucharest.

OMV’s Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer said yesterday that the company will wait for the government’s decision on selling part of its stake before considering carrying out the share sale.

Videanu also said the government plans to sell a 15 percent stake in natural gas producer Romgaz SA on the exchange next year after picking up a broker to manage the sale.

“Romgaz will be a very, very attractive company on the stock exchange,” Videanu said, declining to comment on the estimated proceeds.

--With assistance from Zoe Schneeweiss in Vienna. Editors: Jonas Bergman, Randall Hackley

To contact the reporter on this story: Irina Savu in Bucharest at isavu@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez in Prague at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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