January 4, 2018 / 11:46 AM / a year ago

DEA says talks over final merger agreement with Wintershall ongoing

FILE PHOTO: Flags of the German chemical company BASF are pictured in Monheim, Germany April 20, 2012. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Talks over a final agreement to merge BASF’s (BASFn.DE) oil and gas unit Wintershall with DEA, a vehicle of Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman, are still ongoing, DEA said in a statement on Thursday.

DEA, which Fridman acquired from German energy group RWE (RWEG.DE) in 2014, also needs to explore, develop and produce at lower costs, Chief Executive Maria Moraeus Hanssen was quoted as saying.

BASF last month agreed to merge Wintershall with DEA, creating Germany’s first oil champion that could be listed on the stock exchange after the deal’s expected close in the second half of 2018.

Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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