MOSCOW, October 27. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) sees no reasons for braking the transaction on acquisition of a 51% stake in Eurasia Drilling Company (EDC) by Schlumberger, the regulator’s deputy head Andrei Tsyganov told TASS on Friday.
"There is no view that it is necessary to put brake on the deal, personally I don’t have such a position," he said, adding that FAS is discussing the issue with the company, and the sides have even "shaken off the dust" from the terms of the deal considered back in 2015.
Meanwhile, Tsyganov doubts that Schlumberger is interested in acquiring a stake less than blocking in Eurasia Drilling. "I don’t think this is what they need, what they are interested in is an acquisition of business, not a portfolio investment," he said.
This is the second attempt of Schlumberger to acquire a stake in the Russian company’s capital as in early 2015 it announced intention to purchase a 45.65% stake in EDC for $1.7 bln. The agreement the companies entered also stipulated an option to acquire the remaining shares in EDC within a five-year period after the completion of the potential transaction. However, the deal fell through, as Russian officials were opposed to foreign investors entering the capital of a Russian service company amid western sanctions. In September 2015, it was announced that the transaction would not take place.
In July, 2017 Schlumberger and the management of Eurasia Drilling signed a preliminary agreement on sale of a 51% stake in EDC to Schlumberger. The sides said then that they are expecting a final decision from Russia’s monopoly regulator. Its head Igor Artemyev has recently said that the talks with Schlumberger are underway.
Eurasia Drilling Company was established on the basis of oilfield services assets of Russia’s largest independent crude producer Lukoil. These assets were purchased in 2004 by companies of Russian businessman Alexander Dzhaparidze.