Intesa reportedly provides half of €10.2bn financing for purchase of 19.5% stake in Rosneft

Intesa reportedly provides half of €10.2bn financing for purchase of 19.5% stake in Rosneft
CEO Rosneft Igor Sechin
By bne IntelliNews January 4, 2017

Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo Bank as of January 2 had paid out half of the €10.2bn for the sale of a 19.5% stake in Russian state-owned oil major Rosneft, purchased by Swiss commodities trader Glencore and the Qatar Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund as of January 2, Vedomosti daily reported.

Glencore and the Qatar Investment Authority say the deal is now closed. “The final settlement is completed and the transaction, which was announced December 10, 2016, is closed,” Glencore said in a statement quoted by the newspaper. 

Intesa Sanpaolo paid €5.2bn of the total amount, according to Bloomberg, citing the statement of the bank. It is not clear when the rest of the money will be transferred.

Rosneft sold 19.5% of its shares to Qatar’s sovereign fund and Glencore in a surprise deal on December 7. Previously Rosneft said it would buy the stake itself using money borrowed from its state-owned holding company and then sell it on the open market sometime in 2017. The mooted deal was widely criticised as the state simply moving money from one pocket to another and adding no fresh capital to the state budget. Igor Sechin is both CEO of Rosneft and also of its holding company Rosneftegaz.

However, there are many unanswered questions about the deal. A widely circulated blog at the time by the “Streetwise Professor” (actually Craig Pirrong, a real professor of finance and energy markets at the University of Houston) dated December 7 sums up many of the difficult questions the deal raises.

The reported €10.2bn deal value was a 5% discount to the then market price for the company’s shares, but analysts questions how the Italian bank could take so much debt onto its books in one go – the money is equivalent to 20% of the bank’s entire equity, and is a massive exposure to a single deal for a bank. Likewise, Glencore appears to have only contributed some $300mn to the deal in cash. Clearly there are other agreements standing behind the publicly announced deal terms.

“The €10.5bn ($11.1bn) valuation on the 19.5% stake implies a market value of some $55bn for the company that is actually well below the valuation equivalents of Rosneft’s international rivals. Rosneft has 34.5bn barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) as reserves and produces some 1.75bn BOE a year,” notes Pirrong’s blog. “For comparison, the reserves of ExxonMobil are a third of those of Rosneft and its output of 1.43bn BOE is 80% of Rosneft’s, but the company’s valuation is $350bn, or just over six-times higher and on a dollars per unit of reserves or output basis it is 8-9 times more valuable.”