Croatia: GazpromNeft to buy former OMV gas station network from Crodux, regional expansion on the way

11. July 2013. / SEE Energy News

Just six months after buying 63 gas stations in Croatia from OMV, the owner of Crodux group supposedly is already preparing their resale to GazpromNeft. Russian company is already positioned as one of the strongest players on SEE oil products market, both as producer and seller of oil and with goal to extend its distribution network.

Crodux press release declined the rumors: These are gossips, purchased oil tankers are on the way to our ports and we are preparing rebranding explained in Crodux.

However according to the Croatian medias Crodux has signed a confidentiality agreement with Gazprom Neft, daughter company of Gazprom, which is owned by the Russian state, , which is a precondition for the screening and future possible purchase of the chain of pumps in Croatia which Crodux purchased from OMV.

The truth of this information is supported by the fact that last year Gazprom was competing to buy OMV Croatia and although he was considered as the favorite, he had lost from Crodux.

 “In that story there is no truth, I really do not understand who and why spread such rumors. Well we have just taken these pumps from OMV! Now we procure goods, oil tankers come to us and we prepare rebranding for autumn “- Crodux vigorously denied speculation about express resale. He paid pumps to OMV, together with warehouses in Janaf terminal in Omišalj and acquisition of existing supply contracts, supposedly about 100 million euros and also by domestic banks loan.

If it turns out that the rumors about these pumps sales are still true, there is another possible combination, and that is that Crodux sells to Russians only part of the pumps chain, which normally holds 13 percent of share in domestic retail of oil products.

Gazprom is the majority owner of Oil Industry of Serbia (NIS), where beside the pumps chain also has refineries in Pančevo and Novi Sad.  Last year he bought 28 stations of the bosnian branch of OMV over NIS Gazprom, which also Austrians sold.

Comment of Crodux alleged sale of until recently OMV’s gas stations to Gazprom, Croatian Večernji daily tried to get unsuccessfully in the seat of Gazprom, as well as from their representatives in Croatia. At the end of last year in Zagreb Russian company registered company Gazprom Neft Balkans, and for it also works Boris Medvedev, a former deputy of the russian ambassador in Zagreb. In last year’s interview for Poslovni dnevnik ,Medvedev said that Gazprom intends to expand its business in this area.

“After having bought NIS, Gazprom Neft intends to expand its business throughout the whole region, including Croatia” – said Medvedev then.

Source; Serbia Energy/Croatian Vecernji daily/Agencies

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