Romania’s Transgaz IPO largest IPO in capital market November and December 2007

Transgaz – single largest IPO in Romanian capital market
NineOclock – November 19 2007
by Monica Apostol

Transgaz yesterday launched the largest public offering in the domestic capital market so far, whose value will exceed EUR 67 M and which is scheduled to take place between November 26 and December 7. The offering involves 1.177 million shares, a price per share of RON 191.92, and a total value of RON 225.96 M.

Minister of Economy and Finances Varujan Vosganian told a press conference yesterday that he was quite confident that the operation will be successful, and that he expected the demand for stock to exceed the number of shares in the offering. The listing of ten per cent in the Transgaz equity is aimed at attracting funds for the investments the company plans to make in the coming two years, the Minister also added. The pricing primarily looked at company ROI rates and its potential.

The lead underwriter for the offering is Raiffeisen Capital & Investment (RCI), a major player in the Romanian capital market. “The Transgaz IPO is a novelty in other respects as well: it is the first public offering for which there will be allocation rights; moreover, we expect a record-high number of investors – over 10,000,” Raiffeisen Bank chairman Steven van Groningen pointed out.

Transgaz stock will be sold in two pools, with 60 per cent of the total number of shares offered to investors who buy shares worth over RON 500,000, and the remaining 40 per cent offered to smaller investors, for purchases ranging between RON 2,112.12 (the equivalent of 11 shares) and RON 500,000. Shares may be bought in 130 locations in 71 towns, operated by the selling group made up of Raiffeisen Bank, Raiffeisen Capital & Investment (RCI) and the brokerage house Intercapital Invest.

20 pc share in Nabucco project

Transgaz will hold a 20 per cent share in the natural gas pipeline Nabucco project, Transgaz executive manager Ioan Rusu stated in the same press conference yesterday. The investment is nonetheless conditional on the capacity contracting rate in Q1, 2008, and on the identification of a sixth partner rated AAA. Thus, Transgaz will become a major hub in the natural gas transport system connecting Asia to Europe.

The Nabucco project refers to a new natural gas pipeline which will connect the Caspian area, the Middle East, Egypt and Turkey to central and western European natural gas markets, via Romania, Hungary, Austria. Construction works are scheduled to begin in 2009 and the pipeline may become operational in 2012.

2008, the year of privatisation in energy sector

Energy sector privatisation plans must be finalised by the end of this year, Minister of Economy and Finances Varujan Vosganian pointed out in the same press conference. After a meeting with AVAS president Teodor Atanasiu Monday, the conclusion has been reached that an exact inventory must be drawn up of all energy units that may be privatised. “While the year 2007 was the year of strategies in the power sector, the year of the development and modernisation of the market and of the Transgaz listing, 2008 will be the year of privatisation in the energy sector,” Vosganian said.

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HISTORY: The first gaz company [“Erste Siebenbuergische Erdgas Aktiengesellschaft]˘ was founded in 1912 after the first discovery of gaz three years earlier. It laid its first 55km long gas line (left) in 1914. And (below) is seen in Sarmasel (Mures County, Transylvania) the first compressed gas company to be established in Europe – in 1927.