Litexco invests in potential of Romanian wine

Related tags European union Investment

Spanish investment company Litexco plans to buy about 1,000hectares
of land and invest millions in Romanian vineyards, Bogdan

"We bought some 270 hectares of land in Mehedinti county, Romania, and we are facing delays in our development plan, because of the landdivision among owners,"​ Litexco's head of projects in Bucharest, Bogdan Serban, told

"We cannot disclose how much we invested so far."

Litexco plans to be one of the largest wine producers in Romania, withselected vines that would provide special wine brands for exports.

Litexco started investing in Romania about two years ago, when it bought a real estate asset in Bucharest, upgraded it and leased it as an office building. The overall investment in the 3,000sqm building was €4 million.

"We plan to further invest into a 6,000 sqm building in Bucharest,which will mix old and new styles into another office building,"

said Serban.

The wine industry is now entirely private, though the state still owns some 10 per cent of cultivated area. However, these have been conceded to private producers over the last 49 years, and foreign companies are increasingly looking at the Romanian sector as a source of good value.

Last week the local press reported that a Danish company, Ego EastWine, is planning to invest €2.5 million on 100 hectares ofvineyard in Romania.

The total area occupied by vineyards in Romania is around 240,000hectares, out of which 30,000 ha are "hybrid" types. The local wine industry amounted to $250 million in 2002.

The total export amounted in 2003 was $26 million, mainly to the German, British, Belgian, US, and Japanese markets, while imports amounted to $25,000.

Romania's wine consumption is estimated at about 27 liters per capita per year, and 60 per cent of the locally-produced wine is white.

Due to agreements closed with WTO, Romania can export tax-free wine upto 420,000 hl to the EU countries, while EU countries can export toRomania up to 40,000 hl. The biggest players on the local market areVincon, Cramele Prahova, Jidvei, Murfatlar, Fruvimed, Cotnari, CarlReh, Vinexport, Vinexpert and Karom Drinks.

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