Argentina: retail fund group buys Aspro and enters NGV market
Argentine investor fund Inverlat, owner of major retail brands such as Havanna, KFC, Wendys and Reef, completed the purchase of the controlling shareholder of Aspro, one of the main manufacturers and marketers of CNG compression systems. Aspro is a leader in CNG car equipment, although it also has a division to serve the oil industry. “We are interested in growing as suppliers of the industry targeting the entire project of Vaca Muerta,” said Inverlat.
The transaction was closed at a symbolic sum of US$ 100,000 for 53% of the stock of this company currently owned by a Brazilian-based investment fund as the local group will be responsible for a large liability and will face a strong restructuring project to reposition it in the local market, El Cronista reported. In fact, a few years ago the firm was a major player with a large network of refueling stations.
Aspro was established in 1975 by the businessman Jose Aspromonte. The first steps came with the mechanization of high precision parts until in 1984 they began the production of CNG equipment for cars. In 2008 the company was acquired by the Brazilian investment fund Lupatech, which gave a new impetus to the international insertion process, while the network of stations that Aspro had built remained in the hands of the founding family.
At present the firm is present in 45 countries with more than 5,000 installed equipments. A year ago, it also launched a new division of Oil & Gas, which offers three types of equipment: wellhead, gas lift (which involves the injection of compressed gas into the well) and vent gas recovery compressor (to capture gas in exploratory wells or that do not have gas pipelines by compressing the resource).
“In the future we will have two axes of growth: the first is Vaca Muerta and the second is to continue with the international expansion. Today, 70% of Aspro’s production goes abroad and we believe that the world will see great opportunities for CNG because more and more markets are abandoning the use of diesel and replacing it with this technology,” added Inverlat.