Austrian Utility OMV Sells Gas Pipeline Unit to Rival Verbund

(Reuters) - Austrian utility OMV said on Wednesday it will sell a majority stake in its gas pipeline subsidiary to rival Verbund, a deal that will help OMV reduce debt and finance its acquisition of a leading plastics maker.

In early March, OMV had said it would make divestitures worth $2.3 billion to finance a multi-billion dollar deal to buy one of the world's leading polymer producers, Borealis.

For OMV, this transaction will also lead to a debt reduction of more than 570 million euros ($666.16 million), it said.

Verbund will buy a 51% stake for 271 million euros in cash and assume its outstanding liabilities to OMV as of the date of transaction, the companies said.

At the end of 2019, the debt amounted to 165 million euros.

The two companies had held exclusive negotiations for months until Verbund submitted a binding offer in mid-June.

The buyer added it does not expect the transaction to have any effects on its full-year 2020 guidance as the closing will not take place until 2021. ($1 = 0.8557 euros)

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