- Russian investment firm LetterOne Group has acquired RWE Dea—RWE's holding company for its oil and gas unit—for €5.1 billion.
- RWE Dea in effect disposed its entire upstream oil and gas industry dating back to 1899, which owns 190 licenses in 14 countries including Germany, the UK, Norway, Denmark and Egypt.
- The transaction was very sensitive as the buyer is owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman, and in the context of tensions with Russia, the acquisition created concerns and approval was not granted in the UK; and LetterOne has no expertise in the energy field, which complicated the approval process in Algeria.
- Subsequently, the British government gave Fridman six months to dispose of LetterOne's UK assets or see its licences revoked as the West tightened sanctions against Moscow over its role in Ukraine.
- The assets were sold to Swiss chemicals company Ineos for $750 million, falling short of LetterOne’s initial target of $1.2 billion.
Adam Majeed - Regional editor