News 05 Oct 12

Controversial Albanian Tycoon Behind Albpetrol’s Privatization

The Albanian oil tycoon, Rezart Taci, announced on Friday that he has a controlling stake in the consortium that has won a €850 million tender for the privatization of Albania’s oil reserves.

Besar Likmeta
BIRN
Tirana
Rezart Taci during a press confernce

The consortium Vetro Energy will be managed by two US based companies, Huddleston Energy Advisors and Home Creek Energy.  

 “We would not have been part of this tender if Rezart Taci had not been involved,” said Matthew Rozak, the president of Vetro Energy. 

“Taci’s achievements are great and we are proud to be partners in this project,” Roszak added.

The US investment fund Silk Road Equity owns a 49 per cent stake in Vetro Energy, while Taci’s Singapore based YPO Holdings, is the majority stakeholder with 51 per cent.   

Vetro’s bid for Albetrol is double the value placed on the state-owned oil firm's assets by advisers to the sale. It is equivalent to 10 per cent of the country’s GDP.

If it goes through with the bid, Vetro Energy will secure all of Albpetrol’s above ground assets and exploration rights for a period of 25 years.

Before the sale, the government added the right to build a refinery and to transport gas to Albpetrol’s license.

Most of Albpetrol's  oilfields are currently run by foreign companies under output-sharing agreements.

Taci is known as one of the Tirana businessmen who belong to Prime Minister Sali Berisha's inner circle. In 2009 he privatized Albania’s oil refinery ARMO, for €128 million.

In November 2009, he was accused of attacking Mero Baze, a local political analyst and publisher, but was cleared of all charges a year later. Instead, two of his bodyguards were found guilty for assaulting the journalist and fined 300,000 lek (€2,140) each.

Through his oil companies Taci Oil, Kuid and ARMO he had a turnover of €250 million in 2011. In the last year his has also bought a stake in the Credins Bank and the Tirana TV Station, Albania Screen.  

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