Bobokovs Regain Full Ownership of Prista


The majority owners of Bulgarian lube maker Prista Oil Group have repurchased a 30 percent stake held jointly by an institutional investor and a private equity firm.

Brothers Atanas and Plamen Bobokov said the four-year involvement of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and ADM Capital helped stabilize the company and that is prepared to resume a growth track under the Bobokovs full control.

Photo: Prista Oil

Prista Oil operates blending plants in Ruse, Bulgaria (pictured), and in Turkey, and it has operations in 40 countries worldwide.

Prista, the EBRD and ADM announced the transaction during a press conference held in Sofia last week. Prista said its buyback was financed by a 50 million loan extended by UniCredit Bulbank.

The transaction includes refinancing of shareholder debt and refinancing of project financing, the company told Lube Report yesterday. It added that the Bobokovs, who founded Prista in 1993, have regained complete the control and management of the group, with no residual shareholding participation of equity funds and/or other financial or strategic partners.

Through a company created for investment purposes, Hong Kong-based ADM and London-headquartered EBRD bought a combined 30 percent of the capital of Prista Oil Group in 2012, replacing former minority shareholder Gramercy Emerging Market Fund of Greenwich, Conn.

Plamen Bobokov said the buyback deal made all sides very happy. EBRD and ADM Capital invested in a very important time for our company. Thanks to that, we succeeded in stabilizing the group, and the buyback marks a moment when the challenging times [for our company] are over. It is a beginning of a period of continuous development, he said.

Prista said that during its partnership with EBDR and ADM Capital, the oil company reorganized its business model and objectives, optimized its assets and balance sheet, reduced its short-term debt and expanded its export sales of lubricants.

Prista Oil Groups primary businesses include production of finished lubricants and greases, controlled by Prista Oil, and manufacturing of car batteries, operated by Monbat, one of Europes largest battery makers.

Prista also owns part of the Central and Eastern European operations of the United States-based Chevron, including rights for limited production, distribution and marketing of Texaco-branded products in 14 states in Central and Eastern Europe and in Central Asia.

In May Uz-Prista Recycling, a joint venture between Prista Oil Group and state-owned Uzbekistan energy giant Uzbekneftegaz, opened a 40,000 metric tons per year used oil rerefinery near Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Ruse, Bulgaria-based Prista Oil claims to be one of the leading lubricant manufacturers in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as in Central Asia. It operates four blending plants – two in Bulgaria, one in Turkey and one in Uzbekistan. The company has operations in 40 countries worldwide.

Related Topics

Business    Europe    Mergers & Acquisitions    Region