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Novatek Board Approves Acquisition of 49% Nortgas Stake

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MOSCOW - The board of directors of OAO Novatek, Russia's largest independent natural-gas producer, has approved the purchase of a 49% stake in gas producer Nortgas, the company said in a statement Friday.

Novatek said Tuesday it had agreed to buy the stake from R.E.D.I. Holdings for $1.38 billion and would close the deal this year.

Russian state-controlled gas company OAO Gazprom owns 51% of Nortgas.

"All of the necessary corporate approvals have been received to effectively close the deal, as well as receiving the tentative agreement from the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation approving the transaction and Gazprom's waiver of its pre-emptive rights to acquire the stake," Novatek said.

Nortgas holds the hydrocarbon production license for the Severo-Urengoyskoye field, located in the Yamal-Nenets autonomous district and in close proximity to Novatek's existing production, transportation and processing infrastructure, Novatek said. The field produced 3.1 billion cubic meters of natural gas in the first nine months of this year.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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