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Sibneft Expands Retail Network With New Acquisitions

Moscow, 19 December 2000; Sibneft has struck a deal to acquire controlling stakes in two major refined product retailers in the Urals region, marking the latest step in the company’s aggressive campaign to expand its retail business into new markets.

Sverdlovsknefteproduct and Yekaterinburg Refined Products Co control roughly half of the market in the Sverdlovsk region, one of the fastest growing in Russia. The two companies control 132 gasoline stations and 20 storage sites, and their combined sales in the first nine months of the year totaled 480,000 metric tonnes, against 390,000 tonnes for the whole of 1999. Following the acquisition, Sibneft will control 44% of the region’s gasoline market, against 34% for Lukoil, its nearest competitor.

Sibneft’s retail network has grown rapidly in the past year, with the number of service stations rising to 720 outlets from 521 at the beginning of 2000. The company next year plans to boost investment in its retail business to $20 million, building 69 new gasoline stations and adding another 70 to its franchising network.

Sibneft president Eugene Shvidler welcomed the latest agreement. “The Sverdlovsk region is Russia’s third largest market for petroleum products, and is currently experiencing phenomenal growth. These latest acquisitions fit in with our long-term strategy of building market share in our core markets of Central and Western Siberia.”