Halliburton declined to buy Novomet

Americans lost interest in the Russian producer of oil equipment.
A deal worth about $ 1 billion on the purchase of the American Halliburton of the Perm producer of equipment for oil production Novometa will not take place. The Americans withdrew the petition filed with the FAS. Kommersant sources say that the main reason for Halliburton's refusal was the negative attitude to the deal of Russian authorities against the background of the strengthening of US sanctions.

About the failure of the transaction to sell 100% of "Novomet" Halliburton told the sources of "b". This information was confirmed in the Russian company, refusing additional explanations. In Halliburton, the query "Kommersant" was not answered. The FAS reported that Halliburton withdrew its motion for a deal. The head of the service, Igor Artemyev, commenting on the delaying of the deal on January 25, did not rule out that Halliburton "is waiting for the next sanctions" and the Americans "simply feel in this situation that they themselves no longer need anything."

But the source of Kommersant, close to one of the parties to the deal, insists: the breakdown occurred primarily because of the position of the Russian authorities, who are dissatisfied with the expansion of US sanctions.

Under the law on foreign investment, the deal was to be considered by a government commission, but this did not happen. Back in November, Novomet reported to Kommersant that the deal was "postponed", but there was still no question of a refusal. Sources "Kommersant" say that the parties set themselves a deadline on the decision before the end of 2017.

"Novomet" produces equipment for oil production. The controlling stake belongs to the management, 30.76% - from Rosnano, minority stakes - from the funds of Baring Vostok and Russia Partners. Negotiations with Halliburton began in 2016. Then the interlocutors of "Kommersant" in the industry explained that the interest of Americans is connected with the desire to increase the share in the drilling market in Russia. The amount of the possible transaction was not disclosed, according to Kommersant, Halliburton could pay about $ 1 billion for the asset.

But Kommersant sources from the very beginning believed that Halliburton would face the same problems that prevented Schlumberger from buying the largest player of the Russian market of the Eurasia Drilling Company (EDC) in 2015: then Moscow supplied the buyer with a number of conditions that protected EDC from the possible strengthening of Western sanctions. In 2017 Schlumberger made another attempt to buy EDC, the conditions are still being discussed with the government of the Russian Federation. According to FAS officials, it is a mechanism in which Schlumberger will transfer operational control of the Russian Federation over EDC in case of blocking the work of the Russian company by US sanctions. "Schlumberger is fighting, we are working out the conditions under which this could be, by the way, a matrix for future such decisions, despite all the heavy histories with sanctions," Igor Artemyev confirmed on January 25.

The sale of Novometa can also remain relevant, albeit with another buyer. For example, Rusnano told Kommersant that they "are open to all the profitable proposals for the purchase of portfolio of portfolio companies, including the stake in Novomet." The source of Kommersant in the industry claims that some oil companies and players in the oilfield services sector are interested in buying Rusnano's stake, which "reflects the trend towards consolidation of the industry." Artem Malov from the Energy Center of the Skolkovo Business School agrees that in the case of Novomet, "there may be other investors." The oil sector is now under pressure, the analyst adds, but in the long term it "can play a positive role in reducing Russia's dependence on Western resources and technology."