Bulgarian Oil Firm Gets Funding Injection

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ADM Capital and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) jointly paid 48 million (U.S. $61 million) for a 30 percent stake in Bulgarias Prista Oil Group.

EBRD will also provide a 12 million loan to finance Prista Oil Groups capital investment program, which includes expansion of the companys service center network outside of Bulgaria.

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Today is the day of the service centers, Kalin Trifonov, chief marketing officer for Prista Oil Holding, told Lube Report Monday. The EBRDs financing will support the expansion of Prista Oil Groups branded network of service centers outside Bulgaria in countries such as Turkey, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia. Our aim is to build trust within our end users and to provide them with a modern service and the latest standard products.

Through a company created for investment purposes, Hong Kong-based ADM and London-headquartered EBRD will hold a combined 30 percent of the capital of Prista Oil Group, replacing former minority shareholder Gramercy Emerging Market Fund of Greenwich, Conn.

Trifonov said the company will have a new structure, with three main business groups. Finished lubricants will be under Prista Oil Holdings, batteries and recycling will be under Monbat Holdings, and base oils supply will be under Star Oil, a Dutch company that trades base oil in the Mediterranean region. Such a restructuring will let us manage much more effectively these businesses as well as have a strong financial accounting, Trifonov added.

He added that Prista Oil is planning to expand its business in several countries in the region. The company operates in more than 20 countries, primarily in central and eastern Europe.

The EBRD said its financing will also support the installation of new equipment and the upgrade of Pristas corporate information technology system.

This is ADM Capitals first investment in Bulgaria, said Anthony Stalker, partner and head of ADM Capital Europe. In entering new countries, we always seek companies with strong and stable market shares and an unwavering commitment from the companys principal owners. We believe that Prista Oil satisfies all these requirements.

Prista has its own blending plants in Bulgaria and Turkey where it produces engine, transmission and industrial oils, greases, automotive fluids and car-care products. In November 2011, Prista bought Chevrons controlling stake in blender Uz-Texaco in Uzbekistan and started producing lubricants there, as part of its expansion into Central Asia and the Middle East.

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Business    Europe    Finished Lubricants    Mergers & Acquisitions    Region