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Blue-chip buyout in oil sector

Vitol, the oil business that owns 49.98 percent of shares in the joint-stock oil company Ventspils Nafta (VN), has acquired another 43.25 percent that was previously owned by the joint-stock company Latvijas Naftas Tranzits (LNT) for about €80 million, according to an announcement by VN.

As a result, Vitol Group's offshore holding company Euromin Holdings (Cyprus) Limited now owns 93.24 percent of shares in the company and thus majority voting rights.

VN and its subsidiaries operated with €21.22 million in profit in the first half of the year.

The company also reported that consolidated income in January-June rose 7.6 percent to €95.66 million, and gross profit increased 21.7 percent to €27.58 million.

VN is the largest company quoted on the Latvian stock exchange and battles for its control have raged for years, usually with the name of Ventspils mayor Aivars Lembergs mentioned along the way.

But now it seems the influential Lembergs has finally lost control of the cash cow.

Ventspils nafta owns 51% in Ventspils nafta terminals Ltd, which is the largest crude oil and petroleum product terminal in the Baltics; 66% in “LatRosTrans” Ltd, which is the largest Latvian-Russian joint venture in the Baltics; 49.94% in JSC “Latvijas kugnieciba”, which is among the largest ship owners in the world in the medium-sized and handy tankers category.

In the last two weeks, the share price of VN has climbed by a remarkable 120%.

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