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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yukos Denies Report of Chevron Bid

Oil major Yukos on Monday denied a newspaper report it was in talks to sell a stake to ChevronTexaco if Yukos fails to acquire its smaller rival Sibneft.

A Yukos source said that the merger with Sibneft was on track.

"We are holding talks with all ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch/Shell, Chevron and Total on a huge number of issues, but I have never heard of deal to sell a stake in Yukos," a Yukos source said.

Britain's Sunday Times cited sources close to Chevron saying that the firm had offered to buy a stake in Yukos if the Sibneft deal fell through.

Yukos, the country's second-largest oil company, has been subject to a flurry of speculation after it became the center of a state probe, which its chief executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky has said is driven by conservative forces within the Kremlin.

The Yukos source also denied a local newspaper report that it was changing its plans to issue an international bond of up to $1 billion to help fund the Sibneft merger.

He was commenting on a report by Vedomosti on Monday that quoted unnamed sources close to Yukos as saying the firm has postponed the bond issue and was in talks with a number of Western banks over a syndicated loan instead.

"We need to borrow a total of $3 billion for the Sibneft merger and a possible syndicated loan does not exclude the planned bond issue, which has never been postponed," he said.

The bond sale has been expected since Yukos announced in May that it planned to borrow $3 billion to pay for the acquisition of Sibneft in a complex cash-and-equity deal, valued by analysts at $12 billion to $15 billion.

But in early July, prosecutors arrested Platon Lebedev, a key shareholder of Yukos, on charges of theft arising from a 1994 privatization and launched a daylong search of the company's premises, sparking concerns that the dispute might derail the biggest acquisition in the country's corporate history.