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Gazprom pays ENI $4.2 bln for 20% stake in Gazprom Neft

  Russian energy giant Gazprom has paid Italy’s ENI $4.2 billion for a 20% stake in Gazprom Neft, the ENI head said on Tuesday.

Gazprom’s head Alexei Miller and ENI CEO Paolo Scaroni signed an agreement in Moscow on Tuesday which will see the Russian energy giant buy back a 20% stake in its oil arm, Gazprom Neft.

“We purchased these shares at an auction for $3.7 billion. We had to repay a loan for two years at 9.4% per annum and pay dividends,” Scaroni said. According to Scaroni, ENI spent $4.2 billion on the asset - the same sum paid by Gazprom to repurchase the 20% stake.

The Italian company acquired the 20% stake in Gazprom Neft two years ago at liquidation auctions of former-oil giant Yukos, whose founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky is serving an eight-year prison term for fraud and tax evasion.

Gazprom Neft is Russia’s fifth-largest oil company with 77.66% of its stock held by Gazprom and 20% by ENI. Gazprom Neft posted a net profit of $5.2 billion in the first nine months of 2008. (