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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yuksi Goes West in Search Of New Strategic Partners

Russia's largest oil producer, Yuksi, is in talks with Western companies that want to take a strategic stake in the company, its chief financial officer said Tuesday.

"We are not looking for two partners -- we are looking for at least two partners," Yevgeny Shvidler said. "As to the question of how many would be good, I would say two or three, but no less than two."

Russia's No. 2 producer, Yukos, and No. 7 Sibneft are merging into Yuksi. The two already function as one firm, Shvidler said, but have not formally merged.

Shvidler said a decision on the purchase of Yuksi stakes by Western partners would probably be taken this year. But he said the talks were at a very early stage and the size of the stakes had not yet been determined by Yuksi

"The size of the stake which will be offered to strategic partners depends on what kind of partner it will be and what it will do. It is such an uncertain thing as to be too early to speak of figures," he said.

He said no company would be sold more than 5 percent. "But that does not mean we need to sell 1 percent, 5 or 10 percent," he said.

Shvidler said Yuksi was in discussions with a number of oil firms. "You cannot name possible partners. Elf [Aquitaine], Mobil and Amoco we know well, and we have close relations with all, but the list is a lot longer. "

Interfax, citing a newspaper report, had earlier quoted Shvidler as saying Yuksi was planning to sell two stakes of 5 percent each to two foreign companies.

"We are looking for two partners and [are negotiating] with a number of majors," he said.

Shvidler said that Yuksi was looking for expertise, not capital from the partnerships.

"You can get money from banks more cheaply than technology can be bought. What we are looking for is the management of the project," he said.