The Spanish oil corporation Repsol SA could sell a 5 to 10% of its Argentine unit YPF to four local provinces, Madrid's El Mundo reported, citing unnamed sources close to negotiations between Repsol chairman Antoni Brufau and governor of the Chubut province Mario Das Neves.
This sale would take place during the planned initial public offering of about 20% of YPF, earmarked for around end-June. At the end of December, Repsol agreed to sell 14.9% of YPF to Argentine businessman Enrique Eskenazi, who also has an option on a further 10.1%. According to El Mundo, Das Neves met with Brufau last week in Madrid to relay to him that the provinces of Chubut, Santa Cruz, Mendoza and Neuquen were all prepared to invest in YPF. These four provinces are the most important ones in terms of the Spanish-Argentine's business in the region. According to the report each province would acquire at least 2% of YPF, the newspaper said. The price of the provinces stake acquisitions would be the same as that paid by Eskenazi, El Mundo noted. The deal with Eskenazi valued YPF at around 15 billion US dollars. The Eskenazi family are involved in the oil business in Patagonia and are close friends of the ruling Kirchner family. Repsol-YPF spokesperson in Madrid declined to comment the news.