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21

Gazprom To Buy Sibneft

The British newspaper called the deal between Gazprom and Sibneft "a fait accompli"

Russian number 5 oil producer Sibneft may be acquired by the national gas monopoly Gazprom, the Financial Times reported.

The British newspaper, referring to a person familiar with the situation, called the deal between Gazprom and Sibneft ?a fait accompli?.

Russia?s President Vladimir Putin confirmed last week that the two companies were in talks, but pointed out this was their private matter, not providing any details.

?Sibneft is clearing out the bank accounts, which is perceived in the market as a pre-sale move by the shareholders,? said Steven O?Sullivan, head of analysis at United Financial Group. At the same time, the company?s investment in exploration went down to zero last year, from $57m a year earlier.

Millhouse Capital, an offshore fund through which Sibneft owner Roman Abramovich and his partners control the company, owns 57.5 percent of Sibneft. Market participants said the price for Sibneft shares was set at $3 apiece, which would give Sibneft a valuation of $14 billion.