December 1, 2017 / 4:57 PM / in 15 days

Exclusive: VW in talks to buy stake in Russia's GAZ - sources

MOSCOW (Reuters) - German carmaker Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) is in talks to buy a stake in GAZ (GAZA.MM), a Russian manufacturer of light commercial vehicles (LCV), five sources familiar with the talks told Reuters.

It was not immediately clear how big a stake is being discussed or the value of the deal.

GAZ is a part of the Basic Element group that holds the assets of Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska. Both GAZ and Basic Element declined to comment, while a spokesman at VW headquarters said he does not comment on market speculation.

    “There are talks, they are trying to reach an agreement. Deripaska has long been looking for a partner and VW does not have a Russian partner,” one well-placed industry source said.

    Another well-connected car industry source, two financial market sources and another person familiar with the matter also said talks were under way.

    One of the sources said that a decision on the size of the proposed stake sale has yet to be made.

    A source close to VW also confirmed that talks were in progress but said the possibility of the German group taking a stake in GAZ is not the only mater under consideration.

    Addional reporting by Katya Golubkova, Polina Devitt and Jack Stubbs in Moscow and Andreas Cremer in Berlin; Editing by David Goodman

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