OMV eyes Middle East market in Petrol Ofisi buyout

Takeover of Turkey’s biggest fuel retailer aimed at spurring growth in emerging markets
OMV eyes Middle East market in Petrol Ofisi buyout
Turkey is a strategic platform to the Middle East market, said OMV
By Joanne Bladd
Sun 24 Oct 2010 01:00 PM

OMV, central Europe’s largest oil company, on Sunday said it will take over Turkey’s biggest fuel retailer for €1bn ($1.4bn) to spur its growth in emerging markets.

OMV has agreed to buy Dogan Holding’s 54.17 percent holding in Petrol Ofisi, increasing its stake to 95.75 percent from 41.58 percent, OMV said in an emailed statement.

Before completion, which is expected within three months, Petrol Ofisi will distribute $488m in dividends to shareholders, with $203m going to OMV, up to $265m going to Dogan and a further $21m to free-float investors.

 “This acquisition of sole control in Petrol Ofisi further strengthens our position in the Turkish market,” said Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer, CEO, OMV. “[This] opens a variety of opportunities, not only for the oil marketing business but also for our other corporate business units, as Turkey is a strategic bridgehead to the resource-rich Caspian Region and the Middle East.”

OMV wants to maintain a “strong investment grade credit rating and therefore does not exclude raising equity as one of the available funding options,” it said in the statement.

Petrol Ofisi has 3,140 gasoline stations in Turkey, where oil consumption rose 5.8 percent in 2008, according to BP Plc. That compares with a 0.1 percent decline in Austria.

The company recorded an EBIT of €290m in 2009.

OMV has held a stake in Petrol Ofisi since 2006, when it bought 34 percent of the company for $1.06bn. This is OMV’s second attempt to take over the Turkish retailer, after negotiations were terminated in November last year because of a dispute between Dogan and Turkish tax authorities.

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