Joint Venture In Turkey Highlights International Growth Plans For NuStar Energy L.P.; The Wall Street Transcript Exclusive Interview With Mr. Curtis V. Anastasio - President And CEO
April 4, 2012 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published Oil & Gas: Master Limited Partnerships Report offering a timely review of the sector. This Special Report contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs, Equity Analysts and Money Managers. Please find an excerpt below.
Curtis V. Anastasio is President and Chief Executive Officer of NuStar Energy L.P., a publicly traded master limited partnership based in San Antonio, Texas. He is also President and CEO of NuStar GP Holdings, LLC, which owns general partner and limited partner interests and the incentive distribution rights in NuStar Energy and manages its business affairs. Since joining the company in 1988, Mr. Anastasio has held various positions in supply, trading, transportation, marketing, development and legal. He has been President of NuStar Energy L.P. and its predecessors since December 1999, and he assumed the position of CEO of NuStar GP Holdings, LLC, in 2006. Mr. Anastasio serves as a Member of the board of directors and executive committee of the National Association of Publicly Traded Partnerships, and he previously served as the organization's Chairman. He received a law degree from Harvard Law School and a B.A., magna cum laude, from Cornell University. After graduation, he practiced law in New York City.
TWST: Please start with a brief company history of NuStar Energy and an overview of its business operations today.
Mr. Anastasio: If we look briefly at our history, we went public in April of 2001 as a partial spinoff from a predecessor of Valero Energy Corporation, a large U.S. refiner. We spun off a minority interest to the public of mainly some pipeline assets. Valero was the majority owner and general partner of that company. And during the period from 2001 to 2006, we were affiliated with Valero, but their ownership of what is now NuStar was declining and our public ownership was increasing. Eventually, we split off from Valero by the end of 2006. Since that time, we've been entirely independent of Valero.
We are in three businesses: the pipeline business, which is really how we started out, is number one; second is the storage terminal business; and third is what we call asphalt and fuels marketing. We're quite a bit larger, roughly 15 times the size of what we were when we IPOed. We've gone from 300 or so employees to close to 2,000 employees today. Our assets went from something like 300 million or 400 million to over 5 billion. The enterprise value of our company is in excess of 7 billion today. It was a small fraction of that when we IPOed. So by every measure, we're much bigger than we were. In fact, in 2010, a big industry publication had us as the fastest-growing energy company in the world during the preceding few years. We've been a very fast-growing company since we went public in the last close to 11 years now.
TWST: Among NuStar Energy's relatively recent news is a joint venture in Turkey. What sort of overseas opportunities do you see and is this the company's first international project?
Mr. Anastasio: No, one of the things that distinguishes us from the other MLPs is we're the most international MLP. We operate in eight countries. We have assets in Mexico, in Canada, of course, the United States. We're also in the United Kingdom, England, Ireland and Scotland. We're in what used to be the Netherlands Antilles in the Caribbean, which is actually now part of Holland itself; in Amsterdam, where in recent years, we invested to triple the size of the terminal we have in Amsterdam; and then most recently, Turkey. But the Turkey acquisition was a small one for us. It's two terminals. We paid about 50 million, and we see a good opportunity going forward in that business.
We need to convert it. Our minority partner is a service station operator there who is using the terminal for his own supply, and we're in the process of converting that into a third-party terminal. In other words, opening it up to the industry and other customers, similar to what we've done in other acquisitions like the one we did in St. James that I've mentioned a couple of times. We bought it from a closely-held oil and gas operator, who was running it as a proprietary terminal. They kept it small. They used it for their own purposes. If you look at what we paid for it at that time, it didn't look like a great acquisition based on how it was used historically, but our whole rationale for buying it was what it could become, the potential going forward.
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