- Company knows `real value' of unit, price must meet criteria
- CFO declines to confirm or deny report that YPF dropped bid
YPF SA, Argentina’s largest company, knows the fair value of Petroleo Brasileiro SA’s local assets and will only proceed with an acquisition if the price meets its criteria, Chief Financial Officer Daniel Gonzalez said.
The executive declined to confirm or deny an article published Wednesday in La Nacion newspaper that said YPF abandoned a bid after Petrobras Argentina asked it to raise its reported $900 million offer for a 67 percent stake.
“We know what the real value is and we’re very disciplined about what price we will pay,” Gonzalez said in an interview at the Oil & Money conference in London.
Petrobras Argentina, which has a market value of $1.2 billion, is focusing mostly on unconventional exploration and production and has started drilling at the vast Vaca Muerta shale gas and oil deposit in Neuquen province, where YPF has sunk 400 wells.
YPF, which last year purchased natural-gas assets from Apache Corp. for $800 million, is concentrating on gas projects, Gonzalez said at the conference. Petrobras Argentina has pumped about 6.5 percent of the country’s total gas output this year, according to the Energy Secretariat.
Petrobras’s press department didn’t immediately reply to an e-mailed request for comment.
Petrobras sold more than 20 oil and gas fields to Argentine energy producer Cia. General de Combustibles in March for $101 million.
YPF’s American depositary receipts rose 7.5 percent to $19.03 at 3:20 p.m. in New York, boosting the company’s market value to $7.5 billion. Petrobras Argentina’s ADRs fell 1 percent to $5.45.