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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

BasEl Seeks Russneft Clearance

Basic Element, the investment vehicle of Kremlin-friendly magnate Oleg Deripaska, said Tuesday that it had submitted an official request to the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service to buy embattled oil firm Russneft.

"One of our firms has submitted the request," a Basic Element spokesman said.

A court froze Russneft shares earlier this year and issued a warrant for the arrest of its owner, billionaire Mikhail Gutseriyev, who has accused the state of bullying and using tax evasion charges to force him out of business.

Gutseriyev agreed in August to sell Russneft, a top 10 Russian oil firm, to Basic Element but has since fled the country and is now on the country's international wanted list. His whereabouts is unknown. The deal has since hit legal complications as some analysts suspect a rival Kremlin clan opposes the plan.

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service has one month to make a decision.

Under the $6 billion deal, Gutseriyev was to have received $3 billion in cash while the remainder would cover Russneft's debts to state-controlled Sberbank and Swiss trading house Glencore, industry sources have said.

With Gutseriyev gone, the company's managerial future is unknown.

Russneft will vote for a new president Oct. 5, company spokesman Eduard Sarkisov said Tuesday. It is the company's second attempt at getting a president after last week's meeting was canceled due to a lack of quorum.