Spain's oil major Repsol YPF said on Thursday it had sold 3.3% of its Argentine unit YPF to investment funds for 500 million US dollars as part of an effort to redirect investments to less mature markets.
The funds paid 39 USD per share for the stake and are managed by Eton Park, which acquired 1.63% and Capital Guardian Trust Company and Capital International, which also acquired 1.63%. Eton Park has taken a further option, valid until Jan. 2012, to buy another 1.63% at 43 USD per share.
These transactions contribute to ... reaching one of our main strategic objectives, Repsol Chairman Antonio Brufau said in the statement.
Repsol has reiterated on several occasions that it plans to cut its stake in YPF, partly through a stock market listing, while always retaining at least 50%.
At the end of November, the Spanish group registered with the U.S. securities regulator to sell 15% of the YPF unit on the market, allowing it to accelerate the process of selling off larger pieces. The SEC application is pending approval.
Following the latest stake sales Repsol said it holds 79.84% of YPF, Grupo Petersen 15.46%, with the remaining shares in the free float.