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Thursday, September 16, 2004
Business in Romania blog
BUCHAREST, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Shareholders of Romania's largest oil company SNP Petrom voted to turn its Arpechim refining unit into a non-listed subsidiary, newspaper Adevarul reported on Wednesday.

A Petrom official contacted by Reuters declined to comment. Analysts said the move might clear the way for Austrian oil and gas group OMV -- which is buying a majority stake in Petrom -- to sell Arpechim and keep the 25.1 percent stake it owns in Romania's second-largest refiner, Rompetrol Group NV.

But OMV said the spin-off of Arpechim was part of internal restructuring at Petrom and was not linked to the future of its stake in Rompetrol.

"There is no connection between these matters," an OMV spokesman said, adding the Romanian competition authorities had not yet decided whether OMV would have to dispose of its Rompetrol stake.

Government officials have said OMV should sell the stake in Rompetrol to avoid becoming a monopoly in Romania after it buys Petrom, which has two refineries with total annual refining capacity of 8.0 million tonnes.

OMV is buying a majority stake in Petrom in a 1.5 billion euros ($1.84 billion) deal signed in July.

Adevarul said that Arpechim, with an annual refining capacity of 3.5 million tonnes, would become a non-listed company in which Petrom has 99.9 percent.

The paper said petrochemical plant Doljchim and around 340 filling stations out of Petrom's 600 would also become non-listed subsidiaries.

Under the privatisation deal in July, OMV committed to pay 669 million euros for a 33.34 percent stake in Petrom bought directly from the state and another 723 million to 860 million euros to increase its stake to 51 percent.

Posted by Mihai : 9/16/2004 11:48:00 am Petrom refiner to become separate firm
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