Eight percent of the Petrom shares are to be sold to the company’s employees, Economy minister Codrut Seres announced on Monday, following the submission of a memorandum entailing the conditions of the sale to the General Secretariat of the Romanian Government. The Memorandum is very likely to be discussed this week, during the weekly meeting of the Government.

According to the conditions of the privatization contract signed with the Austrian group OMV, the employees are given the possibility of purchasing up to 8 % of the shares at a price three times lower than the market price - 5 eurocents/share.

The Memorandum entails two methods of purchase, the former by direct sale, and the latter by the intermediated sale to an association representing the employees’ interests.

The stake reserved for Petrom employees has sparked media conflicts between Petrom Service head Liviu Luca, who controls several media outlets ( Realitatea TV, dailies Ziua and Gardianul) and the former owner of TV channel Antena 1, Dan Voiculescu.

Economic analyst George Vulcanescu told Hotnews.ro that the Government would delay the discussions on the memorandum in an attempt to irritate the group of interests around Liviu Luca who wanted to purchase the Petrom shares.

The direct sale makes it difficult for the Luca's business group to collect the 8% stake. The latter version of selling the shares to an employees’ organization favors the Union led by Luca, explains George Vulcanescu.

The International Investment Bank Credit Suisse has won the right to intermediate the transaction of selling the shares to the employees.

The Ministry of Economy controls 40.7 of the Petrom capital.