MADRID, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Spanish oil major Repsol on Monday denied a report in financial newspaper Expansion that it was planning to merge with Gas Natural Fenosa.
Expansion said Repsol was contemplating a tie-up with Gas Natural as an alternative to its publicly announced plans to sell its 30 percent stake in the gas and electricity utility.
"We deny this report. It's groundless," a Repsol spokesman said.
Repsol said in July that it was considering selling its Gas Natural stake because the agreed sale of its liquefied natural gas business to Royal Dutch Shell, due to close this year, diminishes the holding's strategic rationale.
Gas Natural's leading shareholder is Spanish lender Caixa with 35 percent. It has said it wants to maintain its position as controlling shareholder. (Reporting by Robert Hetz' writing by Tracy Rucinski; editing by Jason Neely)