Russia's InterRAO wants to buy 23.5 pct of its shares from Rushydro, FSK -sources

MOSCOW, May 16 (Reuters) - Russian state energy company InterRAO wants to buy 23.5 percent of its shares from state-controlled power company Rushydro and grid company FSK through a subsidiary or unaffiliated companies, two sources close to the situation told Reuters on Wednesday.

Sources told Reuters last week that InterRAO was in talks with Rushydro to buy back around 5 percent of its shares.

On Wednesday, two sources told Reuters that InterRAO Capital, a subsidiary of the energy company, wants to buy its shares from Rushydro and a “substantial portion” of its 18.57 percent stake from FSK.

One of the sources said InterRAO’s remaining shares could be bought by unaffiliated investors on the company’s behalf.

The other source said the deal for InterRAO to buy 5 percent of its shares from Rushydro had already been approved by the strategy committee of Rushydro’s board of directors.

InterRAO and Rushydro declined to comment. An FSK representative, who did not comment on the talks, said any deal would need government approval.

InterRAO, which owns thermal power plants in Russia among other assets, has said it does not plan a share buyback or the retirement of its quasi-treasury shares.

InterRAO’s deal with Rushydro could take place this month or next, while a deal with FSK could take place at the end of June, one of the sources said.

One of the sources said that InterRAO’s main shareholder, state holding company Rosneftegaz, whose board is chaired by Igor Sechin, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, would increase its indirect control of InterRAO.

Rosneftegaz owns 27.63 percent of InterRAO, with the company’s capitalization amounting to 415.5 billion roubles ($6.74 billion). The redemption at market price of 23.5 percent of shares could be worth some 97.6 billion roubles.

If the deals were to take place, Rosneftegaz, InterRAO Capital and companies close to them would control some 70 percent of the holding.

“It will allow for better control of the process,” the source said.

$1 = 61.6800 roubles Reporting by Anastasia Lyrchikova Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber Editing by Toni Reinhold