Russia's natural gas giant Gazprom might acquire its Lakhta centre headquarters in St Petersburg from its oil arm Gazprom Neft for RUB120bn ($1.8bn), Vedomosti daily reported citing unnamed sources.
Reportedly, part of the payment has already been transferred to Gazprom Neft in 2018, with the majority of the payment coming in 2019, and the rest to be settled in 2020.
According to Vedomosti, the deal to transfer Lakhta centre from Gazprom Neft to Gazprom is not going to have any impact on Gazprom's output plans or external financing, while the payment schedule is synchronised with the dividends from Gazprom Neft.
"The news is positive for Gazprom Neft, which further improves its balance sheet (net debt to Ebitda stood at 0.8x as of 3Q18, we calculate) spinning off non-core assets," VTB Capital commented on December 14.
In addition, VTB notes that payments from Gazprom are linked to the dividends of the oil company (where the latter owns 96%), and the strong commitment of the company and its core shareholder to dividends is good news for Gazprom Neft minorities.
"Nevertheless, news about the potential deal has been circulating on the market for some time already, and so we do not think it is going to drive any stock reaction in Gazprom’s shares," VTB believes.