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4 Sep, 2007 07:23

Metals magnate aiming to swallow Russneft?

Oleg Deripaska's firm, Basic Element, wants to acquire the Russneft oil company, which is facing a string of tax claims from the Russian authorities.

The metals magnate Oleg Deripaska has formalized his bid to buy the Russian oil company Russneft.

The billionaire's holding company, Basic Element, has asked the Anti-Monopoly service to approve the 100% buyout.

Russneft is one of the top ten oil companies in Russia, and is Deripaska's first major acquisition in the hydrocarbons sector.

Recently, Moscow's Arbitration Court upheld a claim against the company by authorities for $US 145 MLN of unpaid taxes.

Russneft's president, Mikhail Gutseriyev, has been charged with illegal business practices, and resigned in July.