November 1, 2013 / 9:59 AM / in 6 years

REFILE-UPDATE 1-Romania raises $520 mln in Romgaz share IPO

(Refiled to correct fault in text formatting in first paragraph)

* Bourse trading to start on Nov. 12

* Values the company at $3.6 billion

* Romgaz GDRs to be listed in London

* Romania eyes Hidroelectrica IPO by end-June, 2014

BUCHAREST, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Romania has sold a 15 percent stake in state-controlled gas producer Romgaz, raising 1.7 billion lei ($520 million) in an initial public share offering which it said was heavily oversubscribed, and plans more listings in the months ahead.

The IPO, in which 60 percent of the Bucharest-listed shares and London-listed Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs) were sold to foreign institutional investors, is part of wider privatisation plans agreed with the International Monetary Fund, which has led aid deals for the European Union member since 2009.

Successive governments in Romania have made progress cutting the fiscal deficit but they repeatedly delayed reform of state enterprises and efforts to sell assets have been stop-and-go.

“Energy has won the privatisation bet this year,” Gabriel Dumitrascu, the head of the energy ministry’s privatisation unit, told reporters. “Three of the top 10 U.S. funds, the same for the UK, are among the shareholders.”

Trading in Romgaz GDRs on the London Stock Exchange will start on Nov. 12, when its shares will also start trading on the Bucharest Stock Exchange.

“With the Romgaz IPO, the Romanian capital market gets onto the global stage,” Ludwik Sobolewski, the bourse’s chief executive, said in a statement.

Romgaz GDRs will be listed to trade on the regulated market of the London Stock Exchange on Nov. 12 when its shares will also start trading on the Bucharest Stock Exchange.

Goldman Sachs International and Erste Group Bank AG were joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners for the sale, while Banca Comerciala Romana SA and SSIF Raiffeisen Capital & Investment SA were the domestic lead managers.

Romgaz’s businesses include gas exploration, underground gas storage and electricity production.

In 2012 Romgaz produced 5.7 billion cubic metres of natural gas. It is also the largest underground gas storage operator and accounts for 50.1 percent of domestic gas production, with the rest produced by local rival Petrom, controlled by Austria’s OMV.

Earlier this year, Romania sold a 10 percent stake in nuclear power producer Nuclearelectrica, but failed to privatise its rail freight carrier CFR Marfa.

Other sales agreed with the IMF include hydro-power producer Hidroelectrica, power distributor Electrica and coal-fired power firm Oltenia.

Energy Minister Constantin Nita said the ministry now aims to sell via a share offer a 15 percent stake in Hidroelectrica By the end of June next year, by when it also plans to list shares in Electrica. It had previously planned to sell 10 percent of Hidroelectrica but raised the target following talks with the IMF. ($1=3.2636 Romanian lei) (Reporting by Luiza Ilie and Ioana Patran; Writing by Radu Marinas; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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