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ZF English

From billions in petroleum sector to entrepreneurship

Ion Sturza, 50, the former deputy CEO of Rompetrol, considered a key person in the transaction whereby the petroleum group developed by Romanian businessman Dinu Patriciu was sold to state-run Kazakh company KazMunaiGaz, says plans to invest on his own have not gone as well as he had hoped for, but he is optimistic "because things cannot get any worse".

Sturza left the Rompetrol group, a 7 billion-dollar business with over 9,000 employees, in September last year, announcing shortly afterwards that he wanted to allocate 30 billion euros of his own money to an investment fund targeted exclusively at the Romanian market, called Greenlight Invest. Moving from big figures to more modest ones was quite difficult, Sturza admits.

Although when he launched the investment fund in Romania, Sturza believed true shopping would begin at the beginning of this year, when banks would be forced to put up for sale a series of assets taken over from clients who could no longer afford to pay their instalments, the market reality contradicted him. The only acquisition opportunity was created by investment funds that decided to close their exposure to Romania and sell some of their assets.

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