Glencore, Qatar sovereign fund finalise Rosneft deal
Geneva: The consortium controlled by commodities giant Glencore and Qatar’s sovereign fund announced a €7.8 billion deal on Monday to sell a 14% stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft to Chinese conglomerate CEFC.
The sale would yield about $5 billion plus “the amount of euros arising from the conversion” of $4.6 billion into euros “at a five day average exchange rate at the date of payment”, Glencore said in a statement. The deal leaves Glencore with 0.5% and Qatar’s fund with 4.8% in the Russian oil company.
The money will principally be used to pay down the financing the consortium received from Italian banking group Intesa Sanpaolo and Russian banks in December 2016, when it purchased Rosneft shares. When the deal was initially announced on 8 September, the parties involved had not communicated a sale price or why the consortium had decided to sell a major part of a stake it had only recently acquired.
At the time, Rosneft chief Igor Sechin said the consortium had run into trouble with financing the major part of that stake. Rosneft sold the 19.5% stake in late 2016 in a surprise deal as part of Russia’s privatisation drive—and as a way to prop up the Russian budget which had been hit by falling oil prices.
The purchase price of €10.5 billion was shared equally by Glencore and the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). “Glencore and QIA will each retain an economic interest in Rosneft shares commensurate with its original equity investment,” Glencore said.
The deal leaves the Russian state controlling just over 50% of the country’s largest oil firm, with Britain’s BP retaining the largest minority share with 20%. Chinese group CEFC, among the country’s top 10 private companies, has spent in recent years about $915 million to acquire stakes in a Czech airline, a brewery, two media groups and a top football team. The deal is still subject to regulatory oversight.