Spain's Repsol expected to unload YPF stake
By Joan Magee
NEW YORK, April 25 (IFR) - Spanish oil company Repsol could raise up to US$1.5bn through the sale of its remaining 11.85% stake in Argentina's YPF as soon as May, say bankers.
The move would be one of the last steps in Repsol's exit from Argentina after having already agreed to receive a US$5bn bond payment from the federal government for the expropriation of its 51% stake in Repsol in 2012.
Whether Repsol opts for a quick block trade or a more public transaction, it is likely to wait until the release of earnings on May 9 to conduct the sale.
Bankers are valuing the deal at between US$1bn and US$1.5bn, and while mandates have yet to be awarded, they say possible candidates include Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup.
Emails to Repsol's press office were not answered.
While Repsol may want to monetize its YPF holdings as soon as possible, some bankers think the trade will receive pushback from investors still wary about Argentina's government policies - despite the potential of the country's massive shale fields.
"I think it's still a very tough sell, even if there are buyers interested," said a senior ECM banker.
"I'd frankly be shocked if anything gets done quickly," the banker said. Continuación...