OMV rights issue raises 725 mln euros

VIENNA/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – OMV raised around a net 725 million euros ($1.06 billion) in a rights issue aimed at bolstering its balance sheet after major acquisitions, the Austrian oil and gas group said Monday.

OMV, the biggest energy group operating in emerging Europe, said it sold just under 27.3 million new shares at 27.50 euros each — raising its share capital by around 9 percent.

Shares had closed Monday at 27.85 euros.

Two sources close to the deal had told Reuters earlier that OMV had orders for all the shares on offer.

The subscription ratio was one new share for each 11 held.

Its major shareholders — Austrian state holding company OeIAG and Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) — kept their stakes at 31.5 percent and 20 percent respectively.

OMV’s plan to raise its share capital and sell hybrid notes has lifted uncertainty about how the company would ease debt.

But it has disappointed some investors who were hoping it would sell assets to help meet some of its financing needs.

It sold 750 million euros in hybrid notes on May 25.

OMV announced the refinancing plan last month, saying it wanted to ease debt following acquisitions that pushed its debt to equity ratio to 47 percent, well above its 30 percent target.

OMV bought Turkish petrol retailer Petrol Ofisi in a 1 billion euro deal last year and strengthened North Africa operations this year with the purchase of Tunisian assets of Pioneer Natural Resources Co.

Concern about output disruptions following the unrest in the Arab world and the share sale have weighed on OMV shares.

They have fallen 7 percent since the capital increase was announced on May 16, while the European oil and gas sector index has eased around 2 percent.

OMV trades on a 12-month forward price/earnings ratio of around 6 times, a discount to rivals Repsol at 10 times and Eni at 7 times, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine, which weights analyst estimates by their previous accuracy.

BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan and UniCredit were joint global coordinators and bookrunners for the capital increase. (Reporting by Michael Shields in Vienna, Arno Schuetze in Frankfurt and Kylie MacLellan in London; editing by Carol Bishopric)