updated 7/4/2005 5:58:38 PM ET 2005-07-04T21:58:38

Billionaire Roman Abramovich, the owner of Britain’s Chelsea soccer club, is in the final stage of talks to sell a majority stake in oil company Sibneft to the state-controlled gas monopoly Gazprom, the Kommersant business daily reported Monday.

The newspaper quoted an unidentified source close to Gazprom as saying a deal could be signed this week. Abramovich’s Millhouse Capital owns a 57.5 percent stake in Sibneft .

Sibneft announced Monday that it was paying out record 2004 dividends of nearly $2.3 billion (1.93 billion euros), prompting market speculation of an imminent sale by the oil company’s owner.

Neither company would comment on the reports.

Analysts said Abramovich has been cashing in assets and that a Gazprom takeover would advance the Kremlin goal of bringing the crucial oil and gas sector under tighter state control.

“Abramovich has been a seller of assets, Sibneft is looking like an asset ready to be sold. And Gazprom has set its sights on building an oil portfolio,” said Adam Landes, an oil and gas analyst at Renaissance Capital brokerage in Moscow.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

Data: Latest rates in the US

Home equity rates View rates in your area
Home equity type Today +/- Chart
$30K HELOC FICO 4.91%
$30K home equity loan FICO 5.20%
$75K home equity loan FICO 4.57%
Credit card rates View more rates
Card type Today +/- Last Week
Low Interest Cards 13.42%
13.40%
Cash Back Cards 17.92%
17.92%
Rewards Cards 17.13%
17.12%
Source: Bankrate.com