February 7, 2018 / 4:04 PM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Argentina's YPF says to sell stake in electricity subsidiary to GE

(Adds details on advanced negotiations with potential third partner, background on deal)

BUENOS AIRES, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Argentina’s state-owned oil company YPF SA said on Wednesday it has reached a deal to sell a 24.99 percent stake in its electricity generation unit to U.S. industrial conglomerate General Electric Co.

GE will pay $276 million for the unit, YPF Energia Electrica, plus a contingency payment of $35 million, with a closing date of Feb. 28, YPF said in a filing to the Buenos Aires stock exchange. Reuters had previously reported plans for the deal in December, citing a source.

In the filing, YPF said it was “in advanced negotiations” with a potential third partner to purchase a 24.5 percent stake in the subsidiary on similar terms to the GE deal, though it did not name the company. A YPF spokesman declined to comment on the identity of the third potential partner on Wednesday.

Reuters reported in December that YPF was in discussions with U.S. asset manager Blackstone Group LP for a stake in the unit.

YPF launched the subsidiary in 2013 after acquiring assets from Argentina-based oil and gas company Pluspetrol, which spun off its electric generation business. At the time, the value of the spun-off assets amounted to $485 million, according to a YPF filing. (Reporting by Luc Cohen, Eliana Raszewski and Walter Bianchi Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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