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Friday, November 21, 2008

Lukoil targets 30 pct of Repsol-radio

MADRID, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Russian state oil company Lukoil (LKOH.MM: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is targeting 30 percent of Spanish oil major Repsol including 20 percent of the company held by Sacyr Vallehermoso, Spanish radio reported on Wednesday without citing sources. A spokesman from Repsol denied that the company is in talks with Lukoil, while a Sacyr spokeswoman reiterated that the company continues to study the possible sale of its stake in Repsol and has been in talks with potential buyers. Repsol's second largest shareholder, Spanish savings bank La Caixa with 14 percent of the oil group, was not available for comment. Last week, Russian news agencies quoted deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov as saying that Gazprom was considering buying a 20 percent stake in Spanish oil major Repsol. Gazprom denied it was looking at Repsol last Friday, after Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero also dismissed the matter in a radio interview. Spanish builder Sacyr Vallehermoso said in September it could sell its 20 percent stake in Repsol as it struggled with a falling property market and rising payments on debt. Some analysts said the stake might find a buyer among Russia's energy companies and its sale could lead to a full-scale takeover or break-up of Repsol, which has lagged rivals in profitability and in growing production and reserves in recent years. A 30 percent stake in Repsol would not necessarily lead to control of the company as its bylaws state that voting rights of any individual shareholders are restricted to 10 percent of the company's share capital, regardless of the stake held. In order to change these bylaws, a shareholder would need support of holders of 75 percent of Repsol's share capital present at an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders. Spanish officials have said they would prefer a Spanish buyer for the stock but would consider any bids seriously. (Reporting by Jonathan Gleave, editing by Carol Bishopric)

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