The secondary public offering (SPO) of a 15 percent stake in gas transport company Transgaz was successfully closed last week, raising EUR 72 million for the state coffers, with analysts predicting this could reignite investors’ interest in the domestic capital market.
The offer price per share stood at RON 179 for the tranche of institutional investors, which was 16 percent below the share price recorded on the day prior to the SPO launch. The intermediary syndicate, comprising Raiffeisen Capital & Investment as lead manager and joint book runner, Wood & Company Financial Services and BT Securities, said the offer was oversubscribed in all three investor tranches.
The offer granted retail investors a discount of three to five percent from the price paid by large investors, depending on the moment of subscription, which saw this tranche oversubscribed more than three fold. The institutional investors’ tranche, which was 85 percent of the offer, was oversubscribed more than two fold. Close to 70 percent of the offer subscription came from foreign investors with the rest covered domestically. Investors in the Czech Republic, Sweden and Austria were the most prominent buyers.
James Stewart, vice-president of treasury and capital markets at Raiffeisen Bank Romania, said, “Now that Poland has completed the privatization of its assets, Romania has the prerequisites to become the next success story in the development of the capital markets. The success of this offer is an important step in this direction.” The Transgaz SPO followed international standards, which included the price discovery mechanism and structure of the tranches, according to Narcisa Oprea, partner at law firm Schoenherr Romania.
Constantin Nita, delegate-minister for energy, commented that the offer was a good start for the capital market and for the privatization program. The government has pledged to sell minority stakes in four energy firms by year end as part of a EUR 5 billion stand-by agreement with the IMF, EC and World Bank. Officials said the listings of large energy firms, such as the hydro-electricity producer Hidroelectrica and gas producer Romgaz, would increase the profile of the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BSE) and attract foreign investors.
Lucian Anghel, president of the BSE, described the Transgaz offer as “an encouraging start”, which served as a success story for the capital market.
This SPO came more than one year after the SPO in grid operator Transelectrica, which was also considered a road opener for bigger listings. At the end of 2012, the biggest shareholder in Transelectrica was the Ministry of Economy with a 73.5 percent stake, while the Property Fund held 15 percent of the shares.