State-owned Russian giant takes chunk of Italian refinery

Moratti family keeps majority stake in Saras oil deal

State-owned Russian giant takes chunk of Italian refinery

Milan, April 15 - Russia's state-owned oil giant Rosneft said Monday that it intends to take a combined 21% holding in petrol refinery Saras, owned by Massimo Moratti, chairman of soccer's Inter Milan. The deal, worth a total of almost 274 million euros, includes a 13.7% stake taken immediately by Rosneft, which also gave notice of plans for a public purchase offer to buy a further 7.3% of the refinery. Saras, which operates one of Europe's largest refineries, lost money in the past fiscal year. Gian Marco Moratti and Massimo Moratti, chairman and chief executive officer respectively of Saras, have reportedly been discussing a partnership with Igor Sechin, chairman of Rosneft. Monday's deal may eventually lead to the Russian oil giant supplying crude oil for the Saras refinery in Sarroch, on the southern tip of Sardinia near Cagliari, according to media reports. Gian Marco Moratti, whose family retains just over 50% of shares in Saras, recently said that 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. The Moratti brothers inherited Saras from their father, Angelo Moratti, owner of the 'Grande Inter' side that won a string of Italian titles and two European Cups in the 1960s.

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