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  HOME | Oil, Mining & Energy (Click here for more)

Spain’s Repsol Continues YPF Divestment

MADRID – Spanish oil major Repsol has sold an additional 3.9 million shares in its Argentine unit, YPF, for $159 million, part of a public offering announced on March 14, the company said Friday.

Repsol’s stake in YPF will drop to 68.23 percent once the offering – which priced the stock at $41 per share – is completed on March 28.

The company said in a regulatory filing that the 3.9 million shares were sold to banks that underwrote the share offering and which had 30 days to exercise that purchase option.

With this latest transaction, Repsol’s public offering of YPF shares climbed to 7.67 percent of the company’s stock.

Earlier this week, Repsol listed 26.21 million shares of YPF on the New York Stock Exchange for $1.08 billion as part of a plan to divest its stake in its Argentine unit.

The amount listed represented an increase from a previous announcement on March 14 that the public offering would consist of 24.27 million shares.

The change was due to higher demand.

Also on March 14, Repsol agreed to sell 3.83 percent of YPF to Lazard Asset Management and other investment funds for $639 million. That deal had priced YPF at $42.40 per share.

Following these transactions, Repsol will control 68.23 percent of YPF, while Argentina’s Grupo Petersen, owned by the local Eskenazi family, will continue to hold 15.46 percent.

Grupo Petersen also has the option of purchasing an additional 10 percent in YPF by March 2012.

Repsol acquired a 98 percent stake in YPF in 1999 amid a wave of privatizations, but has since looked to reduce its holdings in the firm as it pursues better growth opportunities in other markets.

The Spanish company has said it wants to lower its stake in YPF to just over 50 percent EFE
 

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