September 27, 2018 / 5:41 PM / a year ago

Germany's DEA 'disappointed' at oil merger delay with Wintershall -CEO

ACAPULCO, Sept 27 (Reuters) - The lack of a final merger agreement between Germany-based energy firm DEA and Wintershall, the oil and gas subsidiary of chemicals group BASF, does not mean the deal is off, DEA Chief Executive Maria Moraeus Hanssen said on Thursday.

“Right now we are a bit disappointed, but it is going to happen, I’m sure,” said Moraeus Hanssen on the sidelines of the Mexican Petroleum Congress. “I am very confident that the owners will reach an agreement... we just have to be patient.”

The companies initially aimed to have a signed agreement last spring and a closing by year-end. Last month, Moraeus Hanssen said the deal likely would be concluded this month and approved by government regulators six months later.

“Both Mario Mehren, the CEO of Wintershall, and I gave signals that we thought it was very close,” she added.

The merged entity is expected to become the biggest independent oil and gas firm in Europe with output of around 600,000 barrels of oil and gas equivalent per day and estimated annual earnings of more than $2.4 billion.

Company executives have previously said the new firm could become public on the Frankfurt stock market.

DEA, which has been rapidly expanding in Mexico through exploration and production contracts awarded during the energy reform that started in 2014, is a vehicle of Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman.

The company is also registered to participate in Brazil’s fifth pre-salt auction, expected to announce results on Friday. (Reporting by Marianna Parraga and David Alire; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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