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Petrom to buy Shell LPG business in Romania

Romanian oil company Petrom has announced that it has decided to exercise its pre-emption right regarding the purchase of a 55.53% stake in Shell Gas Romania and a 60% stake in Trans Gas Services, which is also owned by Shell.

Petrom said that it has decided to acquire Shell Gas Romania and to increase its stake in Trans Gas Services following Dutch oil giant Shell´s decision to exit its LPG business in Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. Petrom, which is owned by Austrian utility OMV, already has a 44.47% interest in Shell Gas Romania and a 20% interest in Trans Gas Services.

Petrom said that the transaction is subject to the clearance of the European competition council, which the company expects to obtain in Q3 2007. According to Petrom, once the transaction is complete, the company will become the largest operator in Romania´s LPG market. Tamas Mayer, the member of Petrom´s executive board responsible for marketing, said: “The acquisition will allow us to strengthen our position on the LPG market in Romania. This transaction gives rise to synergies with our existing LPG business and will allow us to increase our market share, which is now approximately 17% for gas cylinders distribution and 2% for autogas.”

Petrom said that it has been operating on the LPG market in Romania through its own bottling and distribution network, in addition to its stakes in Shell Gas Romania and Trans Gas Services. The company added that, of the approximately 600 filling stations that it owns in Romania, around 300 sell gas cylinders. Mr Mayer concluded: “The LPG annual consumption in Romania amounts to approximately 250 kilotons and is very likely to increase. Therefore, we will focus on this business in order to optimize it.” (