Russian billionaire and Russneft chairman Mikhail Gutseriyev. Image courtesy of the Center for Global Dialogue and Cooperation.

Swiss mining giant Glencore inked a deal Wednesday to acquire a 49 percent stake in Russneft, one of the ten largest oil companies in Russia.

The value of the deal hasn’t been disclosed.

Russneft chairman Mikhail Gutseriev told the Rossiya 24 TV channel that Glencore would receive a stake in the company as part of debt settlement deal.

“All the subsidiaries will be folded into the main (holding) company. The deal is being signed, we have been finishing the shareholders agreement. Glencore will own 49 percent in Russneft,” Gutseriyev said.

The two companies have been in talks to convert $900 million in debt into an equity stake, the Financial Times said.

Glencore currently holds about $2 billion in Russneft debt.

The deal must still be approved by Russian regulators.

Glencore has been partnered with Russneft since it was founded in 2002 but has not commented on the deal yet.

Russneft has trimmed its investment plans this year and may delay some higher cost projects if oil prices continue to hover around five year lows.

“We completely halted our investments excluding those for supporting current output,” Gutseriyev said.

Russneft expects to produce 360,000 barrels per day in 2015 after it consolidates its assets.



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