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US bankruptcy court allows sale of Yukos refinery

[JURIST] A US bankruptcy judge in New York City on Thursday declined to extend an order to block the sale of the controlling stake of Mazeikiu Nafta [corporate website], the largest oil refinery owned by crippled oil company Yukos [corporate website; JURIST news archive]. As a result, Yukos is expected to finalize the sale of the Lithuanian-based refinery to Poland based oil company PKN Orlen [Wikipedia backgrounder] for $1.425 billion on Friday, in an unexpected turnaround from previous speculation that Yukos would sell Mazeikiu Nafta to the Lithuanian government. Kazakh oil group KazMunaiGaz, however, may outbid PKN by Friday [MosNews report] and throw a wrench into the sale indicating that Yukos did not exhaust all of its options in seeking the best deal for its shareholders.

Eduard Rebgun, appointed to manage the company by a Moscow court hearing a Yukos bankruptcy case, sought to halt the sale [JURIST report] in April over the objections of self-exiled Yukos Chief Executive Steven Theede because he feared PKN could not finance the sale. The New York court issued an injunction in April [MosNews report], and extended it several times until Thursday's ruling, where Judge Robert Drain opined that the risks of Yukos not closing the deal outweighed the concerns over how PKN may finance the sale. Reuters has more.

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