[SPAIN] Repsol Rises on Reports Lukoil Is in Talks to Buy a Stake

Repsol YPF SA advanced in Madrid trading on reports that OAO Lukoil is in talks to acquire a stake of just under 30 percent in Spain's largest oil company. Repsol gained as much as 2.2 percent and traded up 30 cents at 14.25 euros as of 9:13 a.m. local time. The stock outperformed the Dow Jones Europe Stoxx Oil & Gas Index, which fell 1.5 percent. Lukoil may purchase Sacyr's 20 percent stake in Repsol and an additional 9.9 percent of its shares on the open market, EFE reported yesterday, citing people it didn't identify. Lukoil would be required to make an offer for the whole company if it bought more than 30 percent, EFE said.

The overall stake would be worth 5.1 billion euros ($6.37 billion) if taken as a direct percent of the Spanish oil company's market value of 17 billion euros as of Nov. 19.

Sacyr, Spain's worst-performing stock this year, increased 3.9 percent to 6.75 euros in Madrid.

Dmitry Dolgov, a spokesman for Lukoil, Russia's biggest non-state oil producer, declined to comment. Nobody from Repsol was immediately available for comment.

Sacyr remains open to discussions on any of its assets, a Sacyr spokeswoman, who asked not to be identified in line with company policy, said today by telephone.

Repsol operates five refineries in Spain, three in Argentina and one in Peru. The energy company has holdings in another refinery in Argentina and two in Brazil, giving the company a total refining capacity of 1.23 million barrels a day, according to the Madrid-based company's Web site.

Italian Refinery
In June, Lukoil agreed to pay Italy's ERG SpA 1.35 billion euros for 49 percent in a new venture that will control the 320,000 barrel a day Isab refinery, storage tanks, and a 99- megawatt power plant in Priolo, Sicily. The Russian company also has refineries in Bulgaria and Romania.

OAO Gazprom, Russia's natural-gas exporter, said Nov. 14 that it's not interested in a 20 percent stake in Repsol. Spain's government is opposed to state-run foreign companies buying into its strategic industries, Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega said earlier the same day.

The Spanish government wouldn't stand in the way of a Lukoil bid for 29.9 percent of Repsol, Cinco Dias reported today. The administration would prefer Lukoil, rather than Total SA of France, purchase the stake, the Spanish newspaper said, without saying how it got the information.

Source: Bloomberg|By Gianluca Baratti and Stephen Bierman
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