Uniper successfully concludes divestiture of interests in Yuzhno-Russkoye gas field
- Debt reduction target fully achieved ahead of schedule
- Conditions fulfilled for additional rating upgrade
Uniper Exploration & Production GmbH (Uniper) successfully concluded the sale of its interests in the Russian gas field Yuzhno-Russkoye to Austrian oil and gas company OMV Exploration & Production GmbH (OMV) announced on March 5, 2017. All required approvals by the Russian authorities and co-shareholders have been obtained. The purchase price for Uniper’s interest of approx. 25 percent amounts to 1,749 million euros, plus cash on balance sheet per December 31, 2016. The transaction will be retroactively effective as of January 1, 2017. In addition to the dividends already collected in 2017, Uniper now received 1,719 million euros.
Klaus Schäfer, Uniper CEO stated: “We were able to conclude the sale of our interests in Yuzhno-Russkoye within the announced time frame and thereby fully achieved our debt reduction target ahead of schedule. That provides us with a greater degree of security and flexibility in the capital market and in our business activities. Even after this disposal, Russia remains a main area of our business – whether in terms of Russian power supplies via our Russian subsidiary Unipro or in terms of European gas supply with our longstanding partner, Gazprom.”
In spring 2016, as part of a comprehensive action plan, Uniper announced that it aimed to reduce the ratio of net liabilities to adjusted EBITDA -- the level of indebtedness -- to a figure comfortably below 2.0. This goal has been achieved through the sale of the participation in Yuzhno-Russkoye. In April 2017, rating agency Standard & Poors (S&P) upgraded the outlook for Uniper’s BBB- rating from stable to positive, raising the prospect of further improvement in Uniper’s rating upon consummation of the transaction. However, in September 2017, following the announcement of Fortum to launch a takeover offer, S&P postponed a decision regarding a further rating upgrade until the effects of the transaction on Uniper’s credit profile became clear.
Yuzhno-Russkoye is located in Western Siberia and is one of the largest gas fields in Russia. Uniper’s participation in Yuzhno-Russkoye amounted to approx. 25 percent. The gas field began operations in 2007 and since 2009 has produced a plateau output of approx. 25 billion m³.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Uniper SE management and other information currently available to Uniper. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. Uniper SE does not intend, and does not assume any liability whatsoever, to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.