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Glencore, Qatar Fund Buy 20% In Rosneft

Glencore has teamed up with Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund to acquire a 19.5-percent stake in Russia’s oil giant Rosneft. The Swiss-based commodity trader and miner, led by Ivan Glasenberg, will contribute US$324 million (300 mln euro) to the deal in the form of equity, and the remainder of the US$11-billion price tag will be forked over by the Qatar Investment Authority as well as non-recourse bank financing.

Rosneft’s Igor Sechin said that Glencore and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund will have equal participation in the consortium formed to carry out the deal.

According to the Glencore press release, the deal will give the company access to an additional 220,000 barrels of crude oil daily over the next five years, as well as other opportunities in the fields of infrastructure, logistics, and global trading.

As a result of the equity transfer, Rosneft will gain a 0.54-percent indirect shareholding in Glencore.

The deal, which is expected to close by the end of next week, is the biggest foreign investment in Russia since the Ukrainian conflict that led to economic sanctions against Russia by the European Union and the U.S., including special ones for Rosneft.

According to Russian news agency TASS, the sanctions as they stand do not expressly ban European and U.S. companies from buying stakes in Rosneft. Be that as it may, many businesses from both sides of the Atlantic were unwilling to entertain the notion of purchasing a chunk of Rosneft. Related: Kuwait Calls For Meeting To Enforce OPEC Cut In Q1 2017

According to Bloomberg, the acquisition marks the return of Ivan Glasenberg, Glencore’s CEO, as a “dealmaking king.” With global operations in coal and metals mining as well as oil and gas, Glencore, successful while commodities were expensive, suffered similar economic hardships just like its peers when demand for basic and precious metals – not to mention oil – deteriorated over the last couple of years.

By the end of 2015, the company had amassed a debt pile of as much as US$30 billion, and suspended dividend payments in a bid to tackle it. Now, a year later, Glencore has announced that it has gotten its debt under control and will pay shareholders US$1 billion in two equal tranches in 2017—roughly US 7 cents per share.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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