July 27, 2018 / 8:42 AM / 5 months ago

BASF says signing of oil and gas JV deal a matter of few weeks

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - BASF said it was confident an agreement with Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s investment company Letter One to merge BASF’s oil and gas division with rival DEA could be signed over the next few weeks.

DEA in March raised the prospect of an agreement to be struck in April, but BASF executives told journalists in a call on Friday that it took longer to win over other partners in exploration and production.

“In oil and gas, where you are active in many alliances globally, you need approval from every partner,” BASF finance chief Hans-Ulrich Engel said, adding that this had led to delays of about two to three months.

If negotiations work out as planned, the joint venture deal could be closed in the first quarter of next year, chief executive Martin Brudermueller added.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Patricia Weiss; Editing by Victoria Bryan

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