Repsol to sell up to 7.1% of Argentine unit YPF

14th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Spain's biggest oil company, Repsol, said Monday it plans to sell up to 7.1 percent of its Argentine unit YPF in a public share offer as part of plans to reduce its stake to just over 50 percent.

The company will sell 24.27 million shares in YPF representing 6.17 percent of the total, it said in a statement.

It has an option to sell another 3.64 million YPF shares or 0.93 percent if there is sufficient demand, it added.

"The sale is part of Repsol's strategic plan to rebalance its asset portfolio," it said.

Repsol took over the Argentinean company in 1999 but last year it said it was seeking to cut its stake to up to 51 percent to raise funds to invest in promising prospects located off the coast of Brazil.

Earlier on Monday Repsol announced the sale of 3.83 percent of YPF to investment fund Lazard Asset Management and other investors for $639 million (458 million euros).

The deal values YPF at $16.68 billion (11.96 billion euros).

Lazard will take a 2.9 percent stake for $484 million (347 million euros), while other investors, which Repsol did not name, will buy 0.93 percent for $155 million (111 million euros).

Following the latest sale, Repsol will hold 75.9 percent of YPF.

YPF produces and processes about half of Argentina's oil and controls about as much of the domestic fuel market. It is the Latin American country's biggest company by market value as well as one of its largest employers.

© 2011 AFP

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