FEATURE: WBD co-founder switches over to oil business
Moscow, Jan 21, 2013 (Menafn - RosBusinessConsulting via COMTEX) --David Yakobashvili, a co-founder of dairy product producer Wimm-Bill-Dann and former member of the board of directors of oil company Bashneft, has acquired a majority interest in Georgian oil product trader Petrocas Energy Group, RBC Daily reported today.Yakobashvili bought a minority stake in Petrocas before Wimm-Bill-Dann was taken over by PepsiCo in 2011. By mid-2012, the businessman's equity position in Petrocas exceeded 80%. A Russian representative of the company confirmed that Yakobashvili is the major shareholder of the group, but declined to disclose the size of the stake.Petrocas specializes in the transshipment of oil products (980,000 tons in 2012) and their transportation by rail (7.5m tons in 2012) in Georgia. The group owns the Poti Oil Terminal which handled 1.35m tons of light oil products last year. The company supplies light oil products to Georgia where it has a 25% market share and owns a fuel retail network of 135 stations under the Gulf Oil International brand. Petrocas purchases oil products from Russia's Lukoil, Azerbaijan's Socar, Rumania's Rompetrol, and Greece's Hellenic Eco. Petrocas' sales amounted to over 800m in 2012.The group's trading volumes are moderate so far and total 500,000 tons annually. Petrocas purchases oil products in Turkmenistan and re-sells them (150,000 tons) to international trader Mabanaft, which supplies oil products to the U.K. Petrocas also supplies oil products to Vietnam.The group intends to expand its trading business from the U. K. to South-East Asia, Yakobashvili said. Specifically, Petrocas is looking to start jet fuel supplies to Kyrgyzstan. In the past several months, Perocas has been purchasing jet fuel from Bashneft and supplying it to Kazakhstan, a company representative said.Petrocas also expects to gain a foothold on the Russian market, where Yakobashvili has a small venture. If successful, this asset could be integrated into Petrocas.Yakobashvili told the daily that Petrocas was his most interesting acquisition over the last three years. The businessman also owns a minority stake in diversified holding AFK Sistema, and controlling stakes in oil companies Bashneft and RussNeft.IFD Kapital analyst Vitaly Kryukov commented that margins are low in the trading business worldwide (no more than 5%), but in Russia the trading margin could be higher. Profitability of this business depends on establishing contacts with oil companies. Yakobashvili's clout in the oil sector should help his company expand in Russia, the analyst said.
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