August 2, 2016 / 7:20 PM / a year ago

Cobalt International's Angola stake sale to Sonangol unlikely

Aug 2 (Reuters) - Cobalt International Energy Inc said it was unlikely to close a $1.75 billion sale of its 40 percent stake in two offshore oil blocks in Angola to the state oil company, sending its shares down as much as 43.5 percent.

The oil and gas producer, which reported a bigger quarterly loss on Tuesday, is facing a U.S. Department of Justice probe into its Angolan operations.

The company said in August last year it would sell its stake in the oil blocks to Angola’s Sonangol, which holds the remaining stake.

“Although we prefer the same transaction with Sonangol to close, I am pleased that we can remarket these...assets to third parties,” Chief Executive Tim Cutt said on a post-earnings call on Tuesday.

The company’s net loss widened to $205.55 million, or 50 cents per share, in the quarter ended June 30, from $66.81 million, or 16 cents per share, a year earlier.

Cobalt shares were down at 98 cents, after touching a record low of 76 cents earlier in the day. (Reporting by Vishaka George in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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