Oil and Gas

UPDATE 2-Repsol sells 14.9 pct of YPF for $2.24 bln

(Updates with official announcement of deal)

MADRID, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Spanish oil firm Repsol REP.MC said on Friday it had agreed to sell up to 25 percent of its Argentine unit YPF to businessman Enrique Eskenazi in a deal that values the business at $15 billion.

Repsol said it would sell Eskenazi 14.9 percent of its subsidiary for $2.235 billion with an option to buy another 10.1 percent within the next 4 years.

Repsol said the two sides planned to list 20 percent of the company, which it bought in 1999, once the deal had gone through.

Madrid-based Repsol added that the deal allowed it to reduce its weighting in Latin America -- part of the company’s longer-term strategy -- without sacrificing presence in the area or its commitment to the continent.

Eskenazi, through his company Grupo Petersen, was backed by international banks such as Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs and Banco Itau.

“Additionally Repsol facilitated, as is usual in deals of this nature, a vendor’s loan for $1.015 billion,” the two companies said.

Repsol Chairman Antonio Brufau will chair the company while Enrique Eskenazi will become vice-president and Sebastian Eskenazi will take on the role of executive vice-president. (Reporting by Juan Navarro; Writing by Ben Harding; Editing by Gary Hill)