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Alliance Denies Sale to Rosneft

Alliance Group, a Russian-based holding company with Far East aviation and natural resource assets, has denied reports that it is negotiating the sale of its oil assets to state-owned oil giant Rosneft, news reports said Thursday.

Vedomosti had previously reported that Rosneft would buy shares in the mid-sized Stockholm-registered Alliance Oil Company, as well as the Khabarovsk oil refinery, one of the largest refineries in the Far East, and Alliance Group’s oil exploration joint venture with Spanish company Repsol.

Shares in a joint gas retail venture with Shell are not on the table and are likely to be purchased by Gazprom, Vedomosti reported, citing sources close to Alliance Group and the government.

Representatives of Alliance Group, Rosneft and Gazprom declined to comment.  

In a statement denying the agreement, Alliance Group said it “views Alliance Oil Company as a strategic investment and intends to promote AOC’s development in the future,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

However, a government official said that the deal is yet to be finalized and that Rosneft could potentially purchase the assets through an affiliate.

Alliance Group owns a 43.3 percent stake in Alliance Oil Company, valued at $560 million on the Stockholm exchange on Wednesday.

Net of the Khabarovsk oil refinery’s $2 billion debt, Alliance Group’s oil assets are worth at $7.6 billion, Vedomosti reported. A source told Reuters that any deal would be far less than that figure.

Rosneft president Igor Sechin announced on July 15 that Rosneft’s Far East investments in the next five years could exceed 1 trillion rubles ($30.6 billion).

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