Rompetrol protests government decision to put assets under distraint

13 September 2010 11:36  [Source: ICIS news]

BUCHAREST (ICIS)--Rompetrol Group on Monday said it objected to the decision of Romanian fiscal authorities to put under distraint some of its assets as a precautionary measure relating to unpaid debts.

Romanian fiscal authority ANAF on 11 September announced it had put some Rompetrol assets under distraint over nearly $600m (€474m) of unpaid debt to the state.

“We have big investments in Romania and we are committed to find a proper solution to the current situation,” said Rompetrol. “If necessary, we will address even to International Center for Settelment of Investment Disputes, ICSID, if there will be any abusive measures against us.”

The Romanian government is demanding that Rompetrol fully pays back its debt, while the oil refiner said it wants to pay back up to $100m and convert the rest into shares.

KazMunaiGaz is Rompetrol’s majority owner. The government converted debt from unpaid taxes into bonds carrying interest in 2003 after businessman Dinu Patriciu bought the state-owned refinery, which was later sold to the Astana-based company.

Rompetrol previously said it would not be able to repay all of the bonds after the group posted a net loss of $100m in the first half of this year.

Destraint is defined as the seizure of property in order to obtain payment of rent or other money owed.

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By: Marian Chiriac
+44 20 8652 3214

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