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Gazprom's oil arm raises its stake in Sibir Energy

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-29

Gazprom Neft, the oil subsidiary of the world's biggest gas company, has increased its stake in Sibir Energy by taking over one of the shareholders of the company, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market.

AFP - The oil subsidiary of the world's biggest gas company Gazprom has won control of London-listed Russian oil producer Sibir Energy after taking over one of its shareholders, the press said Monday.
   
Gazprom Neft on June 22 acquired 100 percent of the shares in the Orton Oil Company, which in turn held a 50-percent stake in the firm Bennfield, one of Sibir's biggest shareholders, Gazprom Neft said in a statement.
   
According to the Interfax news agency and Vedomosti newspaper, Bennfield holds a 46.7 percent stake in Sibir Energy. The transaction means that Gazprom Neft has now hiked its stake in Sibir Energy to a controlling 57.5 percent.
   
Financial details were not disclosed but Interfax said the stake was acquired at a substantial premium to their market value. Vedomosti said the transaction could be worth 735 million dollars (525 million euros).
   
The oil subsidiary of the Russian energy giant has in recent months eyed a number of transactions to fuel its expansion plans.
   
Gazprom in April signed a deal worth over four billion dollars to buy out the 20 percent owned by Italy's Eni in Gazprom Neft.
   
Gazprom Neft chief executive Alexander Dyukov said in a statement that no decision had been taken on buying out the rest of the shares in Sibir Energy and no negotiations were currently in progress.
   
But he added: "If a decision is taken then we will have negotiations and possibly agree on acquiring the shares."
   
The remaining shareholders include the local Moscow authorities who own 19 percent and Gradison Consultants which owns the other half of Bennfield.
   
Created in 1996, Sibir Energy has attributable reserves of over 680 million barrels and production of over 80,000 barrels of oil per day.
   
Trading in Sibir Energy shares in London is currently suspended pending an investigation into erroneous disclosures relating to controversial real estate dealings with former major shareholder Chalva Tchigirinski.
   
 

Date created : 2009-06-29

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