Russia's Eurasia Drilling Says Merger With Schlumberger Delayed
MOSCOW, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Russia's Eurasia Drilling said on Friday it was delaying a deal to sell a stake in the company to oil services giant Schlumberger while it waited for approval from a Russian regulator.
Last month, Schlumberger said it planned to buy a 45.65 percent stake in Eurasia for about $1.7 billion, potentially paving the way for it to become the sole owner of Russia's most active oilfield services company.
Eurasia said on Friday the company and Schlumberger were continuing to cooperate with the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) to respond to requests for information regarding the deal.
It said the merger, including the delisting of its global depositary receipts in London, would not occur in the first quarter as it had previously announced. FAS approval is essential for all major mergers or acquisitions.
Eurasia said it would make a further announcement once all conditions set out in the merger agreement had been satisfied, including that "no further notification to, or review by, FAS is required".
Eurasia, whose shares lost about 60 percent of their value last year because of the weakening Russian economy and increased competition from the likes of state oil producer Rosneft , intends to go private by delisting from the London Stock Exchange before the deal is completed.
Last month, Schlumberger said it had an option to buy the remaining shares in Eurasia during a two-year period commencing three years from the closing of the initial transaction.
(Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Alexander Winning)
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