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Argentina: In seeking Petrobras’ assets, YPF rattles fuel distributors

 |  August 18, 2015

After recent announcements of a planned pull-out from the country and the sale of all assets, Petrobras Argentina will be sold to the highest bidder, in a contest to be held at the end of August. Among the frontrunners is YPF, Argentina’s own state oil company, as well as smaller rivals Oil and Tecpetrol.

YPF, which has the deepest pockets of the three, is rumored to be preparing a bid of up to $1.4 bn in order to secure a majority of the Brazilian giant’s assets, likely hoping to pass on small sections to other companies for profit. All three companies had previously been in talks with Petrobras, with YPF and Tecpetrol once flirting with the idea of a joint bid.

The push for Petrobras’ assets has alarmed service-station owners, who have approached the country’s National Commission for the Defense of Competition, asking them to intervene. They argue that, should YPF and Petrobras Argentina come together, the resulting company would control close to 60% of the fuel distribution market.

In response to these problems, experts in the proceedings have anticipated that, should YPF’s bid be successful, “it will sell most service stations… their attention is set on the development of oil deposits”, which may allay some regulator concerns.

Source: Clarín

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