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Repsol: confirms sale of 20% stake in Gas Natural

(CercleFinance.com) - Repsol on Thursday confirmed that it will sell a stake of around 20% in Spanish gas group Gas Natural to private equity firm CVC, making a capital gain of about 400 million euros.

However, Repsol shares were fairly flat in Madrid this morning after this announcement, up just 0.2% at 14 euros, as analysts struggle to see the rationale of the deal.

"The sale was one of the alternatives that Repsol was considering in order to reduce debt when its credit rating risked being downgraded," analysts at Bankinter pointed out this morning.

"However, with crude oil now back above 60 dollars, a credit rating that has been recently upgraded and debt under the 7 billion euros mark at end of third-quarter, we don't really understand the timing of the deal," the Spanish bank pointed out.

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