Russia’s Rosneft is under no pressure to sell assets to fund debt repayments and will decide how to streamline its business once cost savings from a takeover of rival TNK-BP become clear, its finance chief said.
Announcing Rosneft’s $55 billion takeover of rival TNK-BP last year, chief executive Igor Sechin said the state-controlled oil major would look to sell non-core and less profitable assets.
Bankers who helped finance the buyout said they were led to expect payback in the form of mandates for up to $15 billion in disposals that could include producing oilfields in West Siberia, sources familiar with the matter said.
“We are not moving as some expected us to move. We are moving at our own pace... We are also going through a very thorough synergy analysis and one needs to be patient,” Rosneft’s chief financial officer, Svyatoslav Slavinsky, said in a telephone interview.
He said banks would be hired to manage the disposals “in due course”, and played down any suggestion that Rosneft had a preferred banking partner.
Slavinsky served as head of corporate and investment banking at Citi in Moscow before moving to Rosneft in March.
Rosneft raised debt of $16.8 billion in 2012 and $13 billion earlier this year to finance the TNK-BP deal, using banks including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, Citi N, Credit Agricole, JP Morgan, Mizuho, Societe Generale and UniCredit.
The prospect of Rosneft asset sales is a bright spot on the horizon for investment bankers faced with weak M&A activity this year.
Yet the timing of such sales is still unclear, and for Slavinsky there are no imminent debt repayments that might justify rushing through such sales to free up funds. © Copyright 2012 www.tradearabia.com