MADRID–Singapore state investment giant Temasek and Chinese oil group Sinopec aim to snap up a multi-billion-euro stake in Spain’s Gas Natural, the Financial Times said Monday. The two groups had contacted Spanish oil firm Repsol separately to say they were interested in buying its 4.7-billion-euro (US$6.4 billion) stake in Gas Natural, the paper said, citing people close to the process.
Spanish company Repsol has a 30-percent stake in Gas Natural and wants to sell most of the investment so as to leave itself with a five percent share in the gas firm. Repsol has been selling assets to replace income lost after the nationalization of its Argentinean subsidiary YPF by Cristina Kirchner’s government in April 2012. In February, Repsol announced it was selling a part of its liquefied natural gas business to Dutch-Anglo group Royal Dutch Shell for US$6.65 billion. Repsol and its largest investor, CaixaBank, as well as the Spanish government all approved of Temasek and Sinopec as potential investors, the Financial Times said. A spokesman for Repsol declined to confirm or deny the report. He noted, however, that the group had commented on the Gas Natural investment in late July. Repsol financial director Miguel Martinez said at the time that part of the reason for holding a stake in Gas Natural was that it could profit the group’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) business. But that reason had “disappeared” with the sale of the LNG stake in February, he added. The group was not in a rush to sell its share in Gas Natural and it preferred to do so in agreement with La Caixa (CaixaBank) and Gas Natural, he said.