Thursday, May 22, 2008
U.S. investors win control of Albania's only oil refiner
TIRANA (Thomson Financial) - A U.S. consortium has won control of Albania's only oil refinery with a bid of 125 million euros ($197 million), the government announced on Wednesday.
The Refinery Associates of Texas and Antika Enterprises Consortium USA and Switzerland will own 85 percent of the state-controlled ARMO company, the economy ministry said in a statement.
"The offer by the American company was considerably better than the three others selected to bid out of 25 who had expressed an interest in buying ARMO," the statement said.
"The price was the most important thing," said Deputy Economy Minister Neritan Alibali.
Sources had said the bids for ARMO were to be judged 75 percent on the price offered and 25 percent on the prospective buyer's business and development plan.
ARMO owns two refineries, a research center, 11 depots and a network of gas stations, with a total worth of 109 million euros (170 million U.S. dollars).
Albania's Minister of Economy Genz Ruli had earlier said that AMRO generated profit of 1.7 billion Albanian lek (13.6 million euros) in 2006, compared to 365 million lek in 2004.
The Albanian government plans a series of privatisations this year with the sale of the last remaining large companies still controlled by the state.
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