Repsol YPF: Are the Russians Coming? (REP)

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Repsol YPF (NYSE:REP) is one of the ten largest integrated oil companies in the world. It is based in Madrid, and owns substantial assets in South America. Repsol reported third quarter earnings yesterday, but that’s not the story.

Russia’s vice premier told a news conference yesterday that Gazprom, Russia’s natural gas monopoly, is considering buying a 20% stake in Repsol from Spanish construction company Sacyr Vallehermoso. Sacyr apparently needs cash and is likely to sell its piece of Repsol for about 5 billion euros, nearly 25% less than it paid just two years ago.

If Gazprom pulls the trigger on this deal it would be Russia’s firstforay into Spain. Russia supplies European Union countries with about25% of their natural gas. Germany, Italy, and the UK already haveallowed Gazprom to take ownership positions in gas distribution andother energy-related companies. If Gazprom does buy Sacyr’s stake, itwill become Repsol’s largest shareholder.

As for Repsol’s earnings, the company reported net earnings of 2.82billion euros (about $3.5 billion), an increase of about 13% from thesame period a year ago.

Paul Ausick
November 13, 2008