09 January 1998 17:03 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--Finnish energy and chemicals group Neste admitted Friday that negotiations to sell its 50% stake in Danish petrochemicals group Borealis were taking longer than expected but should be completed before the end of February.
Neste had hoped to conclude the approximately FM4bn ($745m) sale to Austria's OMV and International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) of the United Arab Emirates last month.
However, in a brief statement to the Finnish Stock Exchange Neste said the final agreement to sell its Borealis stake had not been signed by the end of the year but negotiations were continuing. It said final agreement had been delayed, in particular, by negotiations involving the purchase by Borealis of OMV's polymer business PCD Polymere.
A Neste spokesman told CNI that the Borealis divestiture was a very complicated deal. Nevertheless, it was hoped to have everything signed by the end of February, which would allow the transfer of assets to be backdated to 1 January and thus allow books to be closed at the end of the year.
The deal will give Austria's OMV and IPIC a 25% stake each with the other 50% remaining with Norwegian state oil company Statoil.
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