Romania’s OMV Petrom may postpone listing on London Stock Exchange

By bne IntelliNews March 24, 2016

Romanian oil and gas company OMV Petrom has indicated it may postpone its planned secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

In September last year, OMV Petrom’s shareholders approved the secondary listing of the company’s shares on the LSE through the issuance of GDRs for existing shares. However the company now plans to extend by one year, until the end of 2017, the period for which the approval for the listing is valid, citing unpredictable market conditions. Last year, OMV Petrom made its first loss since it was privatised in 2005.

“Given the long period of time for which this approval is granted, and the currently unpredictable market conditions, starting 1 January 1 2017 and until 31 December 2017, this authorization will be conditional upon the Supervisory Board approval, to be sought by the Executive board at any time before the actual secondary listing of OMV Petrom on the London Stock Exchange,” the company said in a notice published on its website on March 23.

Shareholders are expected to vote on the proposal at an extraordinary meeting scheduled for April 26.

The secondary listing was requested by property restitution fund Fondul Proprietatea (FP), which has a 19% stake in OMV Petrom and which wants to sell at least part of its shares. FP proposed to its shareholders to reduce its participation in OMV Petrom to below 15%. FP held its own secondary listing on the LSE in April 2015.

However, FP manager Greg Konieczny told Bloomberg in October last year that FP was waiting for the price of oil to start increasing and open a window of opportunity for listing some of its OMV Petrom shares on the LSE.

OMV Petrom reported RON676mn (€152mn) losses last year, after the company consistently reported considerable profits every year since it was privatised in 2005. The company’s financials suddenly deteriorated in the fourth quarter, amid low crude oil prices. However, operationally, the company announced that it broadly managed to maintain oil and gas production in spite of cutting capital expenditures (CAPEX) by 38% y/y.

Petrom’s shareholders will also be asked on April 26 to vote on the board’s proposal not to distribute dividends for 2015.

Meanwhile, OMV Petrom Marketing lost a lawsuit with the competition regulator over a fine dating from 2011, the regulator said on March 24. The Consiliul Concurentei had issued a fine of nearly RON880mn against six companies for scheming to terminate the distribution of a particular type of fuel back in 2008. OMV Petrom Marketing received a fine amounting to RON137.2mn. However, the High Court of Cassation and Justice decided to reduce the fine to RON109.8mn.

 

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