24 Aug 2009 17:04

SIBUR completes purchase of Austrian trader Citco

MOSCOW. Aug 24 (Interfax) - SIBUR has completed the purchase of Austrian trader Citco Waren-Handelsgesellschaft, one of the trader's partners told Interfax.

SIBUR told Interfax that the transaction has been completed. "We have received the necessary approval from the European Union's antimonopoly agencies and various countries not included in the EU," a company spokesperson said.

The company said that owing to low demand for petrochemical production inside Russia, the presence of its own international trader will allow SIBUR to utilize and, for some product categories, increase exports of production that is not in demand on the domestic market.

The company did not divulge the value of the transaction, only saying that it had been financed with both Sibur's own funds and loan resources.

CITCO is Gazprom Export's exclusive trader for lignified natural gas (LNG). The company also sells LNG produced by Gazprom and Surgutneftegas . CITCO also sells mineral fertilizers produced by Kemerovo Azot, Perm-based Mineral Fertilizers, as well as polymers from Kazanorgsintez , Salavatnefteorgsintez and Angara Petrochemical Complex.

Dmitry Konov, the head of SIBUR, earlier said that CITCO will sell all lines of the Russian company's production but will mostly focus on LNG. With the purchase of CITCO, SIBUR hopes to corner around 20% of the European LNG market.

Founded in 2003, the privately owned Citco trades in liquefied gas, petrochemical products, polymers and fertilizers originating in Eastern Europe, chiefly Russia. Its turnover was $1.88 billion in 2007.

SIBUR is Russia's biggest exporter of liquefied gas. The company produced over 3 million tonnes of liquefied gases in 2008 and exported 980,000 tonnes.