* $150 mln to be paid first, $750 mln at end-2011
* Deal part of strategy to increase asset base
(Adds quote, more details, background)
MOSCOW, Nov 16 Novatek NOTK.MM, Russia's
biggest independent gas producer, said on Tuesday it would pay
$900 million for Sibneftegaz, the latest acquisition in its
strategy to increase its asset base.
Chief Financial Officer Mark Gyetvay said the total size of
the deal, including Sibneftegaz's 11 billion rouble ($354
million) debt, would be nearly $1.2 billion.
"We will finance this acquisition with an initial cash
payment of approximately $150 million, with the remaining
balance of approximately $750 million due to be paid at the end
of the fourth quarter 2011," he told a conference call.
Novatek last week announced the deal to buy 51 percent of
Sibneftegaz from Gazprombank, an affiliate of Russia's top gas
company Gazprom (GAZP.MM).
Sibneftegaz holds licences for the development of oil and
gas condensate fields totalling 395.53 billion cubic metres
(bcm) of natural gas and 8.44 million tonnes of gas condensate
in the Arctic region of Yamal Nenets.
It produced 7.3 billion bcm of gas in the first nine months
Novatek is looking to increase its output by more than 12
percent next year, which could mean more than 41 bcm.
In September Novatek, together with Gazprom Neft (SIBN.MM),
an oil arm of Gazprom, agreed to buy 51 percent of SeverEnergia,
which has upstream assets in the same region.
Novatek plans to issue $1.5 billion worth of Eurobonds to
finance the deal. [ID:nLDE68E1U1]
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Will Waterman)