Numarul 2 / 30 august 2004 /
saptamanal de politica internationala / publicatie personala / Realizator: Nicu Ilie
|Romania a anuntat castigatorii in privatizarea Distrigaz Nord ENG
Romania announces winners in gas tenders
Bucharest, Romania, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- The Romanian government has said a German and a French company have been designated winners in tenders for stakes in two gas distributing companies.
The government said Germany's Ruhrgas had made a successful bid for a 30 percent stake in Distrigaz Nord, while Gaz de France would take a 30 percent stake in Distrigaz Sud.
According to the terms of the deals, the French and German companies would take 30 percent stakes, which they would subsequently raise to 51 percent stakes via new share issues.
The deals should be finalized by October or November, officials have said.
Romania needs to reform its energy sector as part of its bid to join the European Union in 2007 or 2008 along with Bulgaria and Croatia.
Credit Suisse First Boston has been advising the government on
Gigantii gazului privesc spre Romania ENG
by Patricia Koza in Warsaw
The Economy Ministry said Wednesday, Aug. 18, that Ruhrgas, a subsidiary of the energy group E.ON AG, won the right to negotiate for its gas distribution company, S.C. Distrigaz Nord SA, while Gaz de France won the auction for S.C. Distrigaz Sud SA. The transactions will include a 30% stake outright with the investor buying newly issued shares at a later date to raise its stake to 51%.
The sales are the latest indication of Romania's intention to push ahead with long delayed energy sector reform, in line with promises to international lenders. In July, it completed a deal to sell oil company SNP Petrom SA to Austrian oil company OMV AG for about $1.85 billion.
The two Romanian gas companies have about 4 million customers combined and posted sales of $1 billion in 2003. Based on assets, analysts have valued Distrigaz Nord at around $400 million and Distrigaz Sud at about $250 million. The government has declined to disclose what price it is seeking.
Gaz de France, a state-owned utility that is being transformed into a company with a view to an IPO next year, said it would begin talks next week aimed at finalizing the purchase of 51% of Distrigaz Sud. In a statement, Gaz de France chairman Pierre Gadonneix said the acquisition would reinforce his group's strategy of expansion elsewhere in Europe. Gaz de France already has interests in Hungary and Slovakia.
Credit Suisse First Boston is providing the ministry with financial advice on the auction while Linklaters is providing legal counsel.
Essen-based Ruhrgas and GdF of Paris are the two major competitors in Eastern and Central Europe for gas assets that are in the process of being sold off in the push toward market liberalization and integration into the European Union
As a consortium, they bought a 49% stake in 2002 in Slovakia's Slovensky Plynarensky Priemysel a.s., a gas utility and transportation company, for $2.7 billion. In July, E.ON won a €140.7 million ($173.4 million) bid to purchase two state-owned Bulgarian utilities
Ruhrgas and GdF are also considered prime contenders for Hungarian oil company MOL Rt.'s gas business, valued by analysts at $1.3 billion. The Hungarian government is expected to make an announcement later this month about its plans for disposing the business.
The sales had attracted other European suitors including Italy's
Enel SpA, Germany's Wintershall AG and Russia's OAO
Gazprom. Bidders were allowed to post bids for both companies
but were eligible only to purchase one to avoid monopolizing the
Romanian gas market.
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