"The Rompetrol Group – Three Years since Acquisition: Analyzing the Past and Looking into the Future” meeting held in Almaty
Source: The Rompetrol Group
A meeting of The Rompetrol Group’s management with the representatives of the leading business mass media was held on 2 March. Tolegen Bozzhanov, Managing Director for Business Development of JSC NC "KazMunayGas” and Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Rompetrol Group, Saduokhas Meraliyev, Saduokhas Meraliyev, General Director of The Rompetrol Group, and Dmitry Grigoryev, Deputy General Director for Finance of The Rompetrol Group, presented to the journalists the analysis of the current state and the company’s development outlook.
As it was previously reported, the acquisition of The Rompetrol Group was made in 2007 by KMG NC’s subsidiary – JSC “KazMunayGas – Refining & Marketing” in compliance with the instructions of the Head of the State and the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the entry of the Kazakhstan national companies to the international markets.
This acquisition has secured KMG NC access to the stable and growing European market for sales of the Kazakh energy. Accordingly, KMG NC got an opportunity of entering to 12 European markets with the population of over 300 mn people. Meanwhile, the Romanian market is the European market that is most appealing and, geographically, closest to the Kazakhstan.
The cost of acquiring the 100% block of shares of The Rompetrol Group amounted to 1.750 mn US dollars and was determined as a result of the detailed analysis in which international experts were involved such as ABN AMRO, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Norton Rose, Wolf Theiss, Purving&Gertz, ENW, and ERM. The ABN AMRO investment bank issued an official fairness opinion approved by the bank’s credit committee.
The negative consequences of the global financial turmoil impacted the activities and performance of The Rompetrol Group, along with other big companies. At the time of The Rompetrol Group acquisition in 2007, when the prosperity phase gave way to the fall of all macroeconomic indicators, the refining margin declined from the pre-crisis 12 dollars to 2-3 dollars per barrel.
In 2008 and 2009 the refining margin remained at the same low level. Only in early 2010 there was gradual growth related to the beginning of climbing out of the recession.
The total reduction of expenses amounted to 180 mn US dollars in 2009, as part of the anti-recession programme implementation. In 2010 the expenses were reduced by 30 mn US dollars, the plans are to optimize around 90 mn US dollars additionally in 2011. As a result of the measures taken, the total costs are expected to be reduced from 872 mn US dollars to 600 mn US dollars.
The result of implementing this program has been not only retention of The Rompetrol Group main asset structure amid the global recession, but the completion of the Petromidia refinery modernization program as well, that was aimed at compliance with the Euro-5 standards and improvement in the oil products basket towards increasing the amounts of diesel and middle distillates, that are in a high demand on the European markets.
For the moment, the refining and petrochemical capacity of The Rompetrol Group is the most modern and equipped in the Eastern and Central Europe. According to the research of Solomon Associates, Inc., The Rompetrol Group is among the top 40 European refineries in terms of efficiency and processing costs and is far above the similar indicators of Kazakhstan’s refineries.
Since the early 2011, the world's oil and oil product markets demonstrate positive growth dynamics, which directly influences the level of the oil products margin. This fact positively influenced The Rompetrol Group’s performance as well: in January, 2011 The Rompetrol Group operated with a positive net result.
KMG NC’s strategic management is focused on continuing the recovery of the financial and economic situation in The Rompetrol Group. Taking into consideration the service life of the oil-refining assets and their capital capacity, The Rompetrol Group plays a key role in the long-term strategy of JSC NC “KazMunayGas”, that presupposes ensuring markets for the increasing exports of energy from Kazakhstan. Therefore, the priorities of the company’s management may be split into 3 stages for our purpose.
In the short-term, The Rompetrol Group's main priority is the completion of the Petromidia Refinery modernization programme with a view to improving the basket of the output oil products and, hence increasing the competitive capacity and transition to positive economic performance.
In the mid-term, the top priority is increasing in the share of the market in the main European countries where the company operates with a view to increasing the volumes of the sold products and improving the economic performance.
In the long-term, when the oil exports of Kazakhstan will be significantly expanded, The Rompetrol Group should serve as a reliable platform for further development of the stable base for sales of Kazakhstan’s energy on the European market.