Gazprom Neft announces that it has finalised its offer made in January to the minority shareholders of Serbian oil company NIS. 8,4 million NIS shares were submitted for purchase, amounting to 5.15% of the company’s authorised capital. The maximum number of NIS shares that could be submitted for the buy-out was 19.12% or 31,18 million of shares with voting rights.
Based on the previously announced offer price of €4.80 per share, Gazprom Neft will in total pay €40.3 million for acquiring these shares, increasing its stake in NIS from 51% to 56.15%.
The share price has been calculated in accordance with Serbian law. Following Gazprom Neft’s 51% acquisition of NIS, an offer to NIS’ minority shareholders was one of the conditions agreed between Gazprom Neft and the Government of Serbia as a part of the purchase agreement.
“The number of shares submitted by NIS minority shareholders clearly indicates their belief in the company’s growth potential and its prospects for increasing value. Since NIS came under the management of Gazprom Neft, we have focused on and succeeded in making the company profitable, launched large-scale modernisation and increased production by a third. Looking forward we expect NIS to significantly increase its scale of operations, become a key player in the Balkan market and a leader in terms of value creation”, commented Vadim Yakovlev, First Deputy CEO of Gazprom Neft and Chairman of the Board of NIS.
NIS is Serbia’s only vertically integrated oil company. It owns two oil refineries, in the cities of Pancevo and Novi Sad, with a combined annual capacity of 7.3 mln. tonnes, as well as a liquified gas production plant in Elemir. The company produces around 1.5 mln. tonnes of oil equivalent per annum, and operates in Serbia, Angola and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The company owns 480 filling stations and oil bases. NIS is Serbia’s leading supplier of oil products. The company has 11,000 employees.
Gazprom Neft bought a 51 per cent stake in NIS in 2009, acquiring its shares from the Serbian government, which was the company’s only shareholder. Gazprom Neft paid €400 mln. for its controlling stake. The agreement with the government also set out Gazprom Neft’s obligations to invest at least €500 mln. in modernising NIS’s businesses by 2012. This modernisation will bring the quality of its oil products into line with common European standards (Euro 5) and improve the environmental security of its production processes.
In 2009, Serbia’s government decided to distribute a proportion of its NIS shares among Serbia’s citizens, as a result of which the government now owns slightly less than 30 per cent of NIS shares. In 2010, the company was restructured from a closed joint-stock company into an open joint-stock company. As of 30 August, NIS shares are trading on the Belgrade stock exchange.
In accordance with Serbian regulations and under the agreement with the Serbian Government, the repurchasing price was set out as the largest out of three parameters: no lower than the average trading price on the stock market for the last 3 months; no lower than on the last day of trading prior to the publication of the “Statement of Intent” to purchase shares; no lower than Gazprom Neft’s purchase price. Out of all on this, the price paid by Gazprom Neft for NIS shares was the highest. The “Statement of Intent” to purchase shares was published on 13 January 2011. The offer to the minority shareholders was submitted on 31 January 2011.