21 Aug 2009 14:07

Govt commission to consider Basic Element's purchase of RussNeft in Sept

MOSCOW. Aug 21 (Interfax) - A government commission that monitors foreign investment in Russia will consider the purchase of oil company RussNeft by affiliates of Oleg Deripaska's Basic Element holding in September, Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) chief Igor Artemiev told journalists on Friday.

The consideration of the transaction was postponed once again in June. Artemiev said at the time that the delay was the result of "needing to look at offshore schemes. There are about 100 companies there that own each other."

Basic Element filed with the FAS to purchase RussNeft in August 2007. The FAS also received an application from Glencore to purchase stakes in three RussNeft subsidiaries. The government commission considered these applications on February 4, but did not make a decision because it did not have any details about RussNeft's fulfillment of the license terms at the Varyegan oil field.

Deripaska's holding has basically been controlling RussNeft for almost two years since the moment it reached an agreement on the purchase of the company with founder Mikhail Gutseriyev.

Officially, a foreign company from affiliates of En+ Group is buying RussNeft. The oil company's assets, however, include the Varyegan oil field, which has been included in a list of strategic fields. The government commission must therefore approve the transaction.