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25 Jul 2019, Stella Zlatareva, EMIS M&A Team

June's Top Deals per region

Emerging Europe

The largest deal in all emerging markets in June was the acquisition of a 10% stake in Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) project Arctic LNG-2. A consortium formed by Japanese corporations Mitsui & Co and JOGMEC acquired the 10% stake for an estimated USD 3.6bn from the project’s developer Novatek. The latter is Russia’s largest private natural gas producer and aims to become a significant player in the global LNG market. The project itself is for a plant with a production capacity of 19.8 million tonnes of LNG per year and will cost up to USD 23bn to develop. Before the Japanese investment, Novatek sold three 10% interests to French Total and Chinese oil and gas majors CNPC and CNOOC, respectively.

Africa and the Middle East

A Russian oil and gas company was behind the biggest acquisition in this region as well. LukOil agreed to enter the Marine XII oil and gas project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) through the acquisition of a 25% stake for USD 800mn. The project is majority-owned and operated by Italy's Eni. Marine XII covers an area of 571 km2 and is located on the continental shelf of the DRC. The license covers five discovered fields containing 1.3 Bboe of proved and probable (2P) reserves.

Latin America and the Caribbean

Brazilian retail group Grupo Pao de Acucar (GPA) agreed to divest its entire 36% stake in local consumer electronics retailer Via Varejo for USD 570mn to retail investment veteran Michael Klein and undisclosed investors. Michael Klein’s family owns 25.4% of Via Varejo and has now increased its stake to 27%, thus becoming the largest shareholder in Via Varejo. GPA, which is controlled by French retail major Casino, has spared no effort to sell its interest in the Brazilian retailer over the past three years in a drive to focus on its food business.

Emerging Asia

Chinese integrated circuits (IC) producer Unigroup Guoxin inked a deal to take over its local peer Beijing Unigroup Liansheng for USD 2.6bn. The target’s main asset is Linxens, a France-based manufacturer of microconnectors for smartcards, RFID and other products. The move is the latest push by the buyer’s parent Unigroup to expand into the chip industry.