Oil refinery giant Sarras in talks with Russia's Rosneft

Italians may be looking for partner

Oil refinery giant Sarras in talks with Russia's Rosneft

(ANSA) - Milan, September 17 - Two brothers at the head of the Italian petrol refinery giant Saras met with Russia's state-controlled petrol company Rosneft in Rome on Monday. Gian Marco Moratti and Massimo Moratti, respectively president and CEO of Sarras, met with Igor Sechin, president of Rosneft, to discuss a possible partnership between the two companies, according to a written statement by Sarras. The discussion would include, but not be limited to, the possibility of Rosneft supplying crude oil to Sarras's refinery in Sarroch, on the southern tip of the Italian island Sardinia, near Cagliari, the note said. Last July, President Gian Marco Moratti said he was open to finding a minority shareholder. At the sidelines of a Sardinian industry meeting, Saras's president said his was the only petrol refinery group in Europe without a partner that owns petroleum. "If we find one and if they want to take a minority stake, so be it," Moratti said at the time. Rosneft is Russia's leading petrol extraction and refinery group. Saras closed the first semester of 2012 with sales of 5.787 billion euros (+9%) and losses of 117.7 million euros - compared to profits of 82.2 million euros in the first half of 2011. Saras's losses were linked to a fall in prices in the second trimester that caused a heavy devaluation of Saras's petrol inventories. Saras truncated its debt, however, from 653 million euros at the beginning of the year to 82.2 million euros at the end of June. The Moratti brothers inherited Saras from their father, Angelo Moratti.

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