Sunday, November 3, 2013

Romania Raises 1.7 Billion Lei in Biggest IPO on Record

Romania raised 1.7 billion lei ($518 million) from the sale of a minority stake in natural-gas producer Romgaz SA, in the eastern European country’s biggest initial public offering ever.

The government sold 57.8 million shares in the biggest gas producer at a price of 30 lei per share, raising more than the minimum 1.38 billion lei it had planned to secure, Energy Minister Constantin Nita told reporters in Bucharest today. It sold the shares directly through the Bucharest Stock Exchange and through global depositary receipts in London. The sale was 5 times oversubcribed.

“The interest for Romgaz was higher than we expected, and even the sale managers had expected,” Energy Minister Constantin Nita said at a press conference today in Bucharest.

The government needs to raise cash and ease the state’s influence on the economy as it seeks to meet a pledge to the International Monetary Fund and the European Union to sell the shares by the end of November under its third consecutive accord with the lenders.

Romania is joining Poland in selling state assets, after the Polish state-owned railway Polskie Koleje Panstwowe SA raised 1.42 billion zloty ($461 million) in the sale of its cargo unit, that country’s largest IPO in almost a year.

Romania sold a minority stake in nuclear power generator Nuclearelectrica SA in September as part of the 4 billion-euro agreement with the international lenders.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Erste Group Bank AG, Banca Comerciala Romana SA and Raiffeisen Capital & Investment SA managed the sale.

To contact the reporters on this story: Irina Savu in Bucharest at isavu@bloomberg.net; Andra Timu in Bucharest at atimu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net; Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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