Romanian Govt. must sell 8% of OMV Petrom to the company’s employees
Romania’s ruling coalition parties PSD and ALDE will have a meeting this week in which they will also discuss the sale of an 8% stake in oil and gas group OMV Petrom to the company’s employees, Senate president and ALDE leader Calin Popescu Tariceanu said on Monday, local Hotnews.ro reported.
According to the provisions of the Government decree 55/2003 on the privatization of the oil and gas company OMV Petrom (Petrom at that time), the state should sell 8% of the company’s shares to the employees under the same terms (price) as those stipulated in the privatization contract. Romania’s High Court ruled that the state must carry on this sale but didn’t specify who are the employees entitled to buy the shares. The decision was issued on May 8 but hasn’t been made public so far.
At the time of privatization, the company had some 60,000 employees while now it only hires 12,500. The sale of the 8% stake in Petrom to the company’s employees has been long delayed because it was never clear who should get those shares. An association of OMV Petrom employees led by union leader Liviu Luca, wanted to buy the shares on behalf of all employees. In 2018, Liviu Luca and his business partner, controversial businessman Sorin Ovidiu Vantu, were sentenced to ten years in jail each for embezzling the funds of the Petrom employees’ association.
The Romanian state privatized Petrom in 2004, during the Adrian Nastase Government, selling it to Austrian group OMV for EUR 1.5 billion, out of which only EUR 669 million went to the state and EUR 831 million went into the company as a capital increase. The state still holds 20.6% of Petrom’s shares.
The 8% stake that the state should sell to the Petrom employees is worth about RON 1 billion at the privatization price (RON 0.2158 per share) and nearly 1.8 billion (EUR 380 mln) considering the current trading price on the Bucharest Stock Exchange (RON 0.3850 per share).
(Photo source: Flickr/OMV Petrom)