‘Essar Oil stake sale to Rosneft to be signed by end-2016’

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New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) Ruia brothers-led Essar Oil’s negotiations to sell 49 percent stake to Russian energy major Rosneft are at an advanced stage and will be finalised by this year-end, the head of Russia’s state-run company said on Wednesday.

“Constructive talks have been held with Essar Oil and we have achieved a preliminary agreement on terms and conditions and are proceeding to complete the agreement,” Rosneft chairman Igor Sechin told reporters here on the sidelines of an MoU signing ceremony with state-run Indian oil companies.

“Transactions for the same will be completed by the end of 2016,” he added.

Essar Oil has completed the share buy back from its shareholders paving the way for its stake sale to Rosneft, reportedly for an amount of around $7-$8 billion.

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“We have stated that we have signed a non-binding term sheet for exclusive negotiations to sell 49 percent stake in the company to Rosneft. We are at an advanced stage of talks but will take more time to sign the actual deal,” Essar Oil chief executive Lalit Gupta had told reporters last month.

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