Spanish savings bank La Caixa, the largest shareholder of Spanish oil company Repsol YPF SA (REP.MC, REPYY) and of Gas Natural SDG SA (GAS.MC), is planning a merger between the two companies to prevent either one from becoming a takeover target, following the nationalization of Repsol's Argentine unit YPF SA (YPFD.BA, YPF), reports Cinco Dias in its Friday Internet edition.
La Caixa, which holds a 12.8% stake in Repsol and a 35%.3% in Gas Natural, is pondering either a tie-up of the two firms or even the sale of Repsol's 30% stake in Gas Natural to protect its unit from hostile bids, the paper adds, citing unidentified sources.
If Repsol were to sell its stake in Gas Natural it could then use the proceedings to buy a medium size oil company, such as GalpEnergia (GALP.LB), to partly offset what it lost with the nationalization of YPF.
Newspaper website: www.cincodias.com
-By Enza Tedesco, Dow Jones Newswires; email@example.com