Rosneft in talks to buy rest of Russian gas company Itera for $3 bn

Russian oil giant Rosneft, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, is buying its partner 49-per cent stake in gas company Itera, for around $3 billion, the Kommersant daily today reported, citing sources.

Rosneft, which already owns 51 per cent of Itera, one of the largest independent producers of gas in Russia, will buy the remaining 49 per cent from founder Igor Makarov and his partners.

Rosneft, which in March became the world's largest listed oil producer after acquiring Anglo-Russian oil venture TNK-BP for around $55 billion, plans to o close the Itera acquisition in the next two months, said the report.

Itera was established in 1992 in the US by a former member of the USSR cycling team and a Turkmenistan native, Irgor Makarov, as a basic commodities trading company

The company later focused as a reseller of gas from Turkmenistan and made Moscow its headquarters. It prospered in the 1990s due to its dealings with Russian gas giant Gazprom until President Vladimir Putin changed the entire management team of state-owned Gazprom.

In 2010, Chennai-based Khemka family-owned investment company Sun Group sold its 26-per cent stake in Itera back to the company, while TNK-BP's plan of buying 50 per cent stake in Itera in 2011 failed.