Spanish industrial company Repsol SA on Thursday
offered up to $13.4 billion in cash for the shares of Argentina oil
giant YPF SA it doesn't already own.
The bid values the Buenos Aires-based YPF at $44.78 a share and
is roughly a 25 percent premium over what YPF closed at Thursday on
the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, Repsol said in a statement.
The cash tender offer, if successful, would bring together two
former state oil companies and create a Latin American rival to the
state oil companies of Venezuela and Brazil.
Repsol already owns 15 percent of YPF. The offer expires June
23, and will be conditioned on, among other things, Repsol's
acquisition of more than 50 percent of YPF's capital, the statement
It would also be the latest merger in the rapidly consolidating
oil industry. Last December, Exxon and Mobil agreed to merge in a
deal now worth nearly $88 billion that will create the world's
largest oil company. Earlier this year, BP Amoco announced it
planned to acquire Atlantic Richfield Co. in a deal now valued at
nearly $30 billion.
Repsol, which has refining operations in four countries and
nearly 1 billion barrels in oil and gas reserves, primarily in
North Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. It earned $1.9
billion on revenue of $22.2 billion in 1998.
YPF owns and operates three refineries and owns 2,253 service
stations in Argentina; it has more than 3 billion barrels in oil
and gas reserves. It earned $1.1 billion on revenue of $5.5 billion
American depositary receipts of YPF rose $1.75 to $35.93 3/4 in
trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, while Repsol ADR's
fell 12 1/2 cents to $15.56 1/4.