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Romania Seeks at Least $88 Million From Transgaz Share Sale

Romania wants to raise at least 302 million lei ($88 million) through the sale of a minority stake in natural-gas utility Transgaz SA (TGN) to meet its international bailout terms.

The government plans to sell 1.76 million shares, or 15 percent of the company, at a price between 171 lei and 230 lei, according to a statement published on the Bucharest Stock Exchange’s website today. The sale will start tomorrow and run until April 16.

“The Transgaz sale is the first step in our state-asset sale plan and will be followed by larger transactions such as the sale of a minority stake in natural-gas company Romgaz SA,” Gabriel Dumitrascu, the Economy Ministry official in charge of state-asset sales said in Bucharest today. “This is aimed to show that there is political will for the privatization process.”

Romania is selling the Transgaz stake, as well as starting the sale of its majority holding in unprofitable rail freight company CFR Marfa SA to keep its budget deficit within agreed limits to complete its second loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund by the end of June.

Loan Extension

The eastern European country received a three-month extension of its 5 billion-euro ($6.4 billion) precautionary loan until the end of June to complete more reforms. It wants to negotiate a new accord immediately after completing the current one, Prime Minister Victor Ponta said Jan. 25.

Institutional investors will be able to buy 85 percent of the offering, while two other tranches will be reserved for retail investors, according to the statement. Transgaz shares, which were suspended on the bourse today, last traded at 213.5 lei per share on April 2.

Raiffeisen Capital & Investment, Wood & Co. and local brokerage BT Securities SA are managing the sale.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andra Timu in Bucharest at atimu@bloomberg.net; Irina Savu in Bucharest at isavu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net; James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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