Bloomberg News

Former Workers Say Repsol Banned From Selling YPF Stake

December 13, 2011

(Updates with company comment in third paragraph.)

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Repsol YPF SA, Spain’s biggest oil company, wasn’t permitted to sell a stake in its Argentine unit YPF SA without the approval of former workers, according to a recent appeals court ruling in the South America nation.

Repsol sold an 11.5 percent stake in YPF to U.S. funds for $1.7 billion in March when it was banned from doing so, the Federation of Former YPF Workers said in an e-mailed statement today, citing the appeals court ruling from earlier this month. The group plans to file a complaint to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the next few days, according to the statement.

A YPF official in Buenos Aires, who can’t be identified because of company policy, said the group is incorrectly interpreting the court ruling and there won’t be any effect on the company’s share composition.

A court in the Argentine province of Cordoba ruled on Dec. 5 that Repsol can’t sell a 10 percent stake in YPF without the approval of almost 25,000 former workers and shareholders, according to the federation. An Argentine judge in February ordered Madrid-based Repsol to halt plans to sell a 15 percent stake in YPF amid a dispute with former employees, who are seeking to recover their ownership rights in YPF shares.

Repsol Spokesman Kristian Rix declined to comment in an e- mail today.

Repsol fell 3.2 percent to close at 22.39 euros in Madrid. YPF’s American depositary receipts fell less than 1 percent to close at $34.35 in New York.

--With assistance from Rodrigo Orihuela in Rio de Janeiro. Editors: Jasmina Kelemen, Charles Siler

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Price in Buenos Aires at lprice3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net


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