Hess Corp. to Sell Russian Unit for $2.05 Billion

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Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES), one of the leading independent global energy company exploring and producing crude oil and natural gas agreed to sell its Russian subsidiary Samara-Nafta to OAO LUKOIL for $2.05 billion.

Hess Corp. to Sell Russian Unit for $2.05 Billion

According to the press statement of the Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES), Samara-Nafta produces 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the Volga-Urals region in Russia. The energy company expects to gain around $1.8 billion based on its 90 percent interest in Samara-Nafta after deducting taxes.

John B. Hess, Chairman and CEO, said, “As the sale of Samara-Nafta indicates, we are making excellent progress in executing our asset sales program, which is a central component of our plan to transform Hess into a more focused, higher growth, lower risk pure play exploration and production company.”

Hess added that the energy company plans to use the proceeds from the transaction to reduce its debt and strengthen its balance sheet. He said, “Hess will have the financial flexibility both to fund its future growth and also to direct most of the proceeds from additional asset sales to returning capital directly to its shareholders.”

Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES)’s transaction to sell Samara-Nafta is subject to the approval of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation. The energy company said it will file its application for the approval process next week.

Last month, the energy company completed the sale of its 2.72 percent interest in Azeri, Chirag and Guneshli Fields (ACG) and its 2.36 percent interest in the Associated BTC pipeline to ONGC Videsh Ltd for $1 billion.

Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES) also sent a letter to its shareholders urging them to vote for its independent nominees on the proxy white card in connection with the upcoming 2013 annual shareholders meeting of the company on May 16. The company emphasized that its board of directors is focused in keeping its positive momentum and creating lasting value for shareholders.

On the other hand, Elliot Associates continues its activism against the energy company and told its fellow shareholders that Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES) needs accountability to be able to achieve its intrinsic value. The hedge believes that the energy company’s intrinsic value is $128 per share. The hedge fund demanded board seats in the company and encouraged its fellow shareholders to vote for its five nominees to serve as independent directors.

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