Essar unlikely to buy stake in Repsol: sources

Essar unlikely to buy stake in Repsol: sources

Madrid/New Delhi: Industry sources have dismissed a report in Spanish newspaper Expansion that Indian group Essar might buy a 5% stake in Spanish oil company Repsol.

Expansion said on Thursday Essar might acquire the stake, worth €1.3 billion ($1.7 billion), in the market or from shareholders Spanish savings bank La Caixa or Spanish builder Sacyr.

A source close to London-listed Essar Energy, the energy unit of the family-controlled group, said such a deal would not fit with Essar Energy’s strategy “to build and operate assets, as opposed to acquiring minority stakes in other businesses. The focus is very clearly on assets".

Essar Energy, which has a majority stake in India-listed Essar Oil, is in talks with Royal Dutch Shell about buying the Stanlow refinery in Britain.

Repsol said it had had no contact with Essar. “We have received no approach nor have had any contact with Essar," a spokesman said.

Essar would not comment not would La Caixa, while debt-laden Sacyr, which owns 20% of Repsol, was not available to comment.

Repsol shares were up 3.1% at 0949 GMT, outperforming a 0.2 drop in the STOXX Europe 600 Oil and Gas index.