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BBC Monitoring Service (UK): Russian paper says tycoon planning to sell Sibneft oil company

BBC Monitoring Service (UK): Russian paper says tycoon planning to sell Sibneft oil company

“…the partnership with the world oil giant Shell – and Gazprom is going to act together with it – gives Gazprom good chances of winning.”:

Monday July 04, 2005

Text of report by Russian Ekho Moskvy radio on 4 July

[Presenter] The controlling stake in the Sibneft oil company could be sold soon. According to Kommersant newspaper, there are two suitors for this asset. Yuliya Kosilova will tell you more about the competition between potential buyers.

[Correspondent] Who will get the controlling stake in Sibneft? Gazprom, which is already negotiating the deal, as a company source has told Kommersant, or [state-owned oil company] Rosneft? There is no information about any talks being held by Rosneft, but, according to some reports, it also has claims on [Roman] Abramovich’s company.

The question is still open. No official statements to this effect have been made yet.

Objectively, both companies would benefit from a possible acquisition of Sibneft, but Gazprom appears to be more determined. Its management hopes to sign the deal by the end of the week. The expected price is 8bn dollars.

Gazprom would have to buy the controlling stake, while Rosneft would be able to save some money, taking an advantage of the fact that a 34.5-per-cent stake in Sibneft is still on the Yukos’s balance.

At the same time, the partnership with the world oil giant Shell – and Gazprom is going to act together with it – gives Gazprom good chances of winning.

[Presenter] The possible Sibneft deal would also have a personal aspect. According to Kommersant, government sources link Abramovich’s plans to sell the controlling stake in Sibneft to Gazprom with a proposal to stay in the post of Chukotka governor, reportedly made to him by the Kremlin.

Source: Ekho Moskvy radio, Moscow, in Russian 0500 gmt 4 Jul 05

© BBC Monitoring

BBC Monitoring/ © BBC.

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