Gazprom, Hungary's MOL may buy Udmurtneft from TNK-BP

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MOSCOW, June 19 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom Neft could make a joint bid with Hungary's MOL to take control of Udmurtneft (RTS: UDMN) from Russian-British joint venture TNK-BP (RTS: TNBP), the head of the Gazprom subsidiary said Monday.

"We have made this proposal and they [MOL] agreed," said Alexander Ryazanov, who is also deputy chairman of Russian energy giant Gazprom's managing committee.

Ryazanov said in mid-June that Gazprom Neft had evaluated Udmurtneft at $2.5 billion, although some media reported the company could cost $4 billion.

Russia's Federal Anti-Monopoly Service has allowed 10 companies compete for a controlling stake in Udmurtmeft, which accounts for 60% of crude output in the Udmurtia region, in the eastern part of European Russia.

The list includes Sibneft, which was renamed Gazprom Neft in May; Russneft; and Kazakhstan's KazMunaiGaz; along with other firms including Austria's OMV and Hungary's MOL.

Udmurtneft, which has annual oil production of some 6 million metric tons (120,500 bbl/d), is currently developing 26 oil fields in the region and has an authorized capital of 3,562,000 rubles ($131,990).

During preparations for the tender, Deutsche Bank, which acted as a consultant to TNK-BP on the sale of Udmurtneft, became the nominal owner of 99.49% of Udmurtneft's common stock, and 88.99% of its preferred non-documentary shares.

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