Liviu Irimia, current managing director of Lipomin and Carpatina says the dismissal from InBev was the result of prospects’ gaps with managing director.

“I believe that the one important thing is that I left InBev before making the decision to join Lipomin. The reasons why I left InBev were the different approaches with the managing director on how to build brands within the company’s portfolio. Then I decided it is best to step aside and to do something else. These things are natural, are part of the business life,” Liviu Irimia stated for Wall-Street.

The opportunity to develop 100% Romanian brands in a homegrown company was the major reason why Irimia accepted to join Lipomin team.

“I haven’t done this before, it is a challenge I am willing to take, and above all, Lipomin made me an attractive offer. There have been 2-3 companies that made me offers,” Liviu Irimia added.

The new managing director will head a department with 200 employees, unlike InBev, where he coordinated the activity of 12 employees in the company’s marketing division.

“It is a small scale difference, as at InBev I was in charge only with the marketing department, and here, I am responsible of the entire company, namely 200 employees. I am open-minded, and I enjoy working with people,” Irimia pointed out.

He added that his greatest challenge of all at the company is “to have results”.

“After talking with the boardroom, the main task is to contribute to a boost in sales volume, and to enhance market share,” Lipomin representative said.

The main growth engines of company’s business are Carpatina brand and the distribution network.

Furthermore, Liviu Irimia shares the same prospects with Lipomin’s chairman, Mihai Bratu, who forecasted a leading position within 2-3 years in mineral water segment.

Bottled water segment is likely to mount 12%-15% compared to 2007, according to Irimia’s forecasts based on research framed by rating company Nielsen. In 2007, the bottled water amounted to 744 million lei.

“Bottled water market is underdeveloped, if we take into consideration the local status. The consumption per capita is around 46 liters bottled water per year. We forecast major growths in the following years,” said Irimia.
Mineral water producer, Carpatina, with head office in Piatra Neamt acquired early June Herculane Water with head office in Baile Herculane, together with two land parcels that cover 7,400 sqm. The transaction value was not yet disclosed.

In 2007, Carpatina and Lipomin bottled and sold 74 million liters of water. The two companies hold a combined market share of 7% on Romanian bottled mineral water.

The company’s shares are floated on Rasdaq, as LIPO.

Lipomin Lipova bought Carpatina business from Petrom in February 2006.