Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman. Image courtesy of Anton Nossik/Wikimedia Commons.

Germany’s RWE warned Thursday its $6.36 billion sale of subsidiary RWE Dea to a group led by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman may not go through this year.

The deal requires approval from 14 countries where RWE Dea operates in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Last month, UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey was reportedly hesitant to sign a letter of comfort stating the UK does not object to the deal.

LetterOne, a Luxembourg-based investment group headed by Fridman, agreed to buy the company around the same time the EU and United States imposed sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Crimea in March.

LetterOne and RWE reportedly want the UK government to agree not to seize and sell off the UK North Sea assets included in the deal if the UK winds up adopting stricter sanctions against Russia, the Financial Times said.

The sale would take RWE Dea’s $37 billion in debt off RWE’s books.

RWE CFO Bernhard Guenther said the company is working hard to close the transaction as soon as possible but that are “some third party approvals still outstanding.”

Details about the outstanding approvals were not disclosed.

Guenther said it is “hard to say” if the deal will close by the end of the year.

Norway and Germany have already approved the deal.

RWE Dea owns interests in about 190 oil and gas licenses or concessions in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.


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