Image courtesy of Rosneft.

Russia’s Rosneft won a green light Thursday from the European Commission to buy Morgan Stanley’s global oil commodities trading unit.

The acquisition deal was made last December for an undisclosed sum.

The European Commission is responsible for drafting proposals for new European laws, managing the day-to-day business of implementing EU policies and spending EU funds.

The Commission said it approved the deal because the acquisition does not raise competition concerns because there are “very limited” overlaps between the activities of the two companies and because “a number of strong players would remain in the market after the merger.”

Rosneft will acquire the global oil merchanting unit of Morgan Stanley including access to an international network of oil storage facilities, crude oil and oil products inventories and freight agreements, Upstream said.

About 100 front office executives and 180 employees will join Rosneft after the merger.

The deal does not include Morgan Stanley’s stake in Colorado-based transportation company TransMontaigne or any of Morgan’s commodities operations outside of the oil and products industry.

The purchase does not include Morgan Stanley’s current client business in oil and products merchanting.

The deal was approved despite current EU and U.S. sanctions on Russia’s oil and gas industry including direct sanctions against Rosneft.

A projected closing date for the acquisition was not disclosed.


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