19 July 1954|
|Education||Ştefan Gheorghiu Academy|
|Known for||Owner of InterAgro and Astra Giurgiu|
|Net worth||$700 million USD (2018)|
Ioan Niculae, (born July 19, 1954 in Buturugeni, Romania) is a Romanian businessman and entrepreneur. He is also known for his ownership of the Astra Giurgiu Romanian football club. As of August 2018, his net worth decreased to $700 million dollars.
He is the owner of the InterAgro group, Romania's leading agricultural and fertilizer conglomerate, with revenues in excess of €630 million in 2012.
Through his company, Niculae manages approximately 50,000 hectares of agricultural fields and is the biggest Romanian cereal cultivator. He is also the owner of 170 hectares of vineyards, reaping their first harvest in 2008.
Since 2004, the total amount of agricultural investments done by his company has surpassed €100 million.
In the 2013 Forbes list of billionaires, Niculae was stated to have an estimated fortune of $1.2 billion, holding the 1372nd position. He is the third Romanian to be featured in the magazine, after Dinu Patriciu and Ion Țiriac.
Since 1996 Niculae has been the owner of the Astra Giurgiu football team.
He entered the business world after 1990, setting up, alongside a Turkish partner, a chemical trade company – Interaction.
In 1995, he founded InterAgro, a Romanian-Chinese joint venture.
In 1997, Niculae became the majority stakeholder of the Astra Ploiesti refinery, after a $16 million investment.
In 1998, he bought into the Romanian insurance company Asirom, after investing $21 million. He sold those stocks in 2007, making a profit of $65 million.
He has been subject to many controversies, stemming from his business practices in the oil and gas industry. He has denied all charges.
In 2012, The Romanian National Tax Administration accused Niculae of defrauding the national budget due to accusations that his tobacco company, Galaxy Tobacco, had failed to pay its taxes, amounting to an excess of €120 million. Niculae fought the charges in Court and won.
In 2013, Niculae faced negative press after state prosecutors alleged that two Romanian politicians gave InterAgro favorable gas discounts from 2006 to 2010.
That same year, 2013, Niculae founded the Romanian Investors Council.
On 2 April 2015 he was jailed for two-and-a-half years for illegal financing the PSD electoral campaign from 2009.
In 2013, Niculae filed divorce from his wife, Domnita Niculae, ending a 31-year-old marriage. The divorce trial is still pending.
He is the father of three children.
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