The deal, announced by Swiss commodity miner and trader Glencore on Friday, gives CEFC China Energy Co. a 14.2% stake in Rosneft, deepening a growing economic relationship between China and Russia.
Glencore and the Qatar Investment Authority formed a consortium to buy a 19.5% stake of Rosneft in an $11.3 billion deal last December, giving Moscow a cash infusion during a budget crunch caused by declining oil prices.
But, in the deal’s complex structure, Glencore’s actual equity stake was only about 0.5% of Rosneft and Qatar’s about 4%. The rest of the deal was financed by Russian banks and Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, which had planned to spread its risk by syndicating the loan to other banks.
The Wall Street Journal reported in June that Intesa was having trouble finding banks willing to help them finance the deal.
The deal makes CEFC Rosneft’s third largest investor behind the Russian state, which owns half of the company, and BP PLC, which owns about 20%.
Rosneft Chief Executive Igor Sechin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said in a televised interview Friday that the high cost of servicing the debt behind the consortium’s investment prompted the Glencore and Qatar to seek another investor. Glencore will retain its 0.5% stake in Rosneft and Qatar will keep its 4.7% stake.