The Russian group would invest more than EUR 500 M in cash and take on around EUR 250 M of debt, sources. RWE to sell DEA to Russian group of investors led by Mikhail Fridman.
Rosneft has struck a deal with a group of Italian shareholders that will give it control over a 13 percent stake in Italy’s Pirelli, making it the single biggest shareholder in the tyremaker, hotnews.ro informs, quoting Reuters. The deal is the latest in a string of acquisitions of Italian companies by foreign players that are snapping up assets as the country shows first signs of emerging from its longest recession in 70 years.
It also coincided with debt-burdened German utility RWE striking a deal to sell its oil and gas production arm DEA to a group of investors led by Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman, valuing the unit at about EUR 5.1 billion (USD 7.1 billion) including debt. The deals come as East-West relations are hit by the crisis in Crimea, where a referendum vote in favour of joining Russia has intensified calls in the West for sanctions. European Union foreign ministers will agree asset freezes and travel bans on Russian individuals, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said.
Under the terms of the Pirelli deal, which was announced on Monday, the Russian oil major will own 50 percent of a new holding company that will end up with 26.2 percent of Pirelli. The remaining 50 percent of the holding company will belong to a financial group 80 percent owned by an investment vehicle of Pirelli chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera called Nuove Partecipazioni.
The other 20 percent will be split between Italian banks Intesa and UniCredit. Intesa and UniCredit said in a joint statement the deal valued Pirelli shares at 12 euros each, equivalent to Friday’s closing level. The statement did not give any other financial details, but a source with direct knowledge of the matter said Rosneft would invest more than EUR 500 million (USD 696 million) in cash and take on around EUR 250 million of debt. “The agreement’s objective is to develop Pirelli’s activities and business, also strengthening its commercial network in Russia thanks to Rosneft’s widespread presence across the territory,” Intesa’s statement said. The deal will further cement a marketing and commercial agreement signed between Pirelli and Rosneft in December 2012, with Russia seen as a key growth market for the tyremaker.