April 2000

Mabanaft Founds a Trading Company in Moldova

In April 2000, Mabanaft sets up its own trading company in the East European republic of Moldova: Mabanaft Moldova GmbH. One of the company’s first big transactions is the purchase of a majority stake (82%) in the state-owned oil trading company Tirex, which owns 15 tank terminals, seven sub-tank terminals and 49 service stations at the time. This privatization brings with it a five-year investment plan, as the facilities are to a large extent obsolete, and the organizational structure extremely inefficient.

This gives rise to various tasks for Mabanaft. Supplies need to be secured for a start. Moldova doesn’t have its own oil deposits and therefore needs to import petroleum from neighboring countries. Mabanaft also wants to advance a reorganization of Tirex, which will take several years.

Moldova is interesting for Mabanaft because it can serve as a model, so to speak, for future investment projects in Eastern Europe. It allows Mabanaft to gain, with containable risk, experience in how to set up a stable business from scratch even under unfavorable conditions.