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Lukoil wins EU antitrust approval to buy Conoco gas stations

OAO Lukoil, Russia's biggest oil producer and refiner, secured European antitrust approval to buy 376 Jet brand filling stations from ConocoPhillips for more than $400 mln to expand international retail sales.

The purchase will allow Lukoil to enter the Belgian, Czech and Slovak markets and expand in Poland, Hungary and Finland. Lukoil plans to increase sales of oil products by 1.4 million tons, or 19%, this year. „The combined market shares would be relatively low and below a level where the companies could affect either the supply or the prevailing price in the market,” the European Commission, the 27-nation European Union's antitrust regulator in Brussels, said in a statement yesterday. The filling stations will be re-branded with the Lukoil name within two years after the purchase, which is expected to close in the Q2 of this year, the Moscow-based company said in December. (Bloomberg)