Tiriac, Paval brothers, Teszari lead ranking of Romania's wealthiest entrepreneurs

Ion Tiriac

BUCHAREST (Romania), December 5 (SeeNews) - Ion Tiriac, the founders of DIY retailer Dedeman Dragos Paval and Adrian Paval, and Zoltan Teszari, owner of Digi Communications [BSE:DIGI] lead this year's ranking of Romania's wealthiest entrepreneurs compiled by local magazine Capital.

Professional tennis player-turned-businessman Ion Tiriac, with investments in retail, insurance, auto leasing, auto dealerships and airlines, is credited with a fortune of 1.7-1.8 billion euro ($2.01- $1.7 billion), according to the Top 300 Wealthiest Men in Romania 2017 ranking published on Monday.

In 2016, Tiriac invested some 3.6 million euro in a 4,863 sq m ice rink in Otopeni, near Bucharest. The businessman plans to continue investments in sports and will invest 100 million euro in a university sports campus, according to Capital.

The Paval brothers, Dragos and Adrian, are in second place with a fortune of 1.1-1.2 billion euro. The two entrepreneurs founded Dedeman in 1992.

In October, Dedeman has reconsidered its plans to open a store in Moldova's capital Chisinau due to red tape.

Meanwhile, the expansion of Dedeman's network is in full swing in Romania, having reached 48 stores. So far this year, has Dedeman opened four stores - in Cluj, Iasi, Bucharest and Hunedoara, following a total investment of 74 million euro.

In August, real estate developer AFI Europe and Dedeman agreed to cancel the sale transaction of AFI Park office buildings 1-3 in Bucharest. In June Dedeman's owners decided to tap into the real-estate sector and signed a pre-contract to buy three office buildings from AFI Europe, with the option to buy two more. According to local media reports, the estimated value of the transaction for all five buildings would have been as high as 164 million euro.

Digi Communications owner Zoltan Teszari is credited with a fortune of 550-570 million euro. Digi Communications N.V is majority owner of Romanian company RCS&RDS and indirectly operates telecommunications groups in Hungary, Spain and Italy through RCS&RDS.

Digi's net profit surged to 44.2 million euro in the first nine months of 2017 from 17.8 million euro in the year-ago period, as revenues rose 10.8% on the year to 684.1 million euro. Digi's business in Romania posted the highest revenue among the group's lines of operation in the first nine months of 2017, of 491.1 million euro, up 9.6% on the year .

In October, Digi contracted a 200 million euro loan mainly to support the acquisition of Hungarian telecommunications operator Invitel.

Shares of Digi Communications started trading on the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) in May, following the successful closing of the largest IPO of a private company concluded on the Romanian capital market. The value of the offering topped 944 million lei ($241 million/204 million euro).

Digi is part of BVB's blue-chip BET and BET-TR indices.

Digi's shares traded flat at 35 lei as at 1346 CET on the BVB on Tuesday.

Following are top 10 wealthiest businessmen in Romania according to the ranking:

Name Fortune (euro) Business
1. Ion Tiriac 1.7-1.8 bln auto, insurance, energy, sports
2. Dragos and Adrian Paval 1.1-1.2 bln retail, bricolage
3. Zoltan Teszari 550-570 mln telecom, media, energy
4. Ioan Niculae 500-600 mln agriculture, football, chemical industry
5. Iulian Dascalu 480-500 mln real estate, retail
6. George Becali 400-500 mln football, real estate, health
7. Gruia Stoica, Vasile Didila 400-420 mln railway transport, rolling stock production
8. Frank Timis 380-400 mln mining
9. Radu Dimofte 370-400 mln real estate, hotels, restaurants
10. Marius, Emil Cristescu 340-350 mln industry, tourism, real estate

The leading economic sectors from which the wealthiest men had emerged are trade, IT, transport and services, Capital said in a press release. When calculating wealth, Capital took into account both the value of holdings in companies and the value of movable and immovable property, it added.

Capital is a Romanian business magazine founded in 1992 which is currently being published by Evenimentul and Capital trust. Every year since 2002, the magazine has published its ranking Top 300 Wealthiest Men in Romania.

(1 euro = 4.6344 lei)

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