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30 Jul, 2007 05:19

Russneft may end up under state control

The Russian oil company Russneft confirmed on Sunday, it is close to reaching a deal, ceding control to billionaire Oleg Deripaska. His asset-management firm, Basic Element, has applied to the Federal Antimonopoly Service to buy control of the private oil

Russian newpapers report that Deripaska's firm will pay around $US 6.5 BLN for Russneft, and assume its debt.

Tax officials are pursuing a string of claims against Russneft and its owner, Mikhail Gutseriev, and analysts say the firm is likely to end up under state control.