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Takeover of Zarubezhneft by Gazprom is out of the question for the time being
Takeover of Zarubezhneft by Gazprom is out of the question for the time being, Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref told reporters on Wednesday. Earlier Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller had hinted Zarubezhneft might be taken over by Gazprom together with 100% of Rosneft shares in return for 10.7% of Gazprom's shares registered with its subsidiaries. According to Mr. Miller, a preliminary appraisal report places 100% of Rosneft below the 10.7% stake in Gazprom, which could render the state enough authority to control the gas giant directly. "If the conclusion is confirmed, giving Gazprom a share in Zarubezhneft - which is to become a joint stock company soon - as part of payment for [Gazprom's] shares will be considered a viable option for the transaction," he said. As Gazprom takes over Rosneft, the resulting company that will swallow all Rosneft's assets will change the name for Gazpromneft. The state will control 50% plus one share in the gas monopoly after Rosneft takeover. Mr. Miller also said Gazprom was finalizing all documents necessary to have Gazpromneft registered as its subsidiary. "The company will be registered in St. Petersburg," he said. Zarubezhneft was set up in September 1967 as a specialized foreign trade unit of the Soviet Petrochemistry Ministry to export goods and services, supply materials and equipment, and render technical support in selling oil and gas outside the USSR. Zarubezhneft coordinated and managed construction of oil production and refining facilities in Algeria, Vietnam, India, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Cuba, and other countries. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to transform Zarubezhneft into an open joint stock company in February but the incorporation is still in progress. Mr. Gref said on Wednesday the state agency responsible for public property management would define the appraiser for Gazprom's and Rosneft's assets and said that when Rosneft would officially be eliminated from the list of strategic enterprises (that cannot be sold out - Ed.) depended on the appraisal result. All necessary documents are ready, Mr. Gref said
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