The dissolution of the merger between YUKOS and Sibneft will enable Sibneft to make contracts with major western companies, Sergey Suverov, an analyst with the Zenith bank told RBC. The analyst is of the opinion that Sibneft stockholders decided to null the merger with YUKOS in order to secure their business. According to Suverov, Sibneft is intended for sale anyway. Now among its prospective buyers are the US-based ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco as well as the French-based Total. ExxonMobil may be regarded as a favorite in this race given the immense interest in the Russian market the company has recently shown.
The expert stressed that to buy Sibneft a western company would have to have the approval of Russian authorities in any event.