Argentina names YPF board, Repsol keeps one seat

Mon Jun 4, 2012 8:43pm EDT
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BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's government concluded its takeover of the nation's biggest oil company on Monday by naming a new chief executive and directors, although YPF's former owner - Spain's Repsol - kept one seat on the board.

During the first shareholder meeting since President Cristina Fernandez seized control of YPF in April, Miguel Galuccio - a former executive at global oilfield services giant Schlumberger Ltd - was confirmed as chief executive and chairman.

Galuccio, an engineer who led the integrated project management unit of Schlumberger (SLB.N: Quote), was named general manager last month, and Monday's announcement was seen as a formality.

Sixteen of the company's 17 directors were appointed by the state. Repsol managed to nominate the remaining directorship.

Fernandez won strong domestic support for her expropriation of a 51 percent stake in the company from Repsol (REP.MC: Quote), which she accuses of failing to invest to boost production and oil and natural gas, forcing the country to turn to costly imports.

Repsol still owns 6 percent of YPF and now holds the voting rights on another 6 percent of the company that had been put up as guarantees from fellow YPF shareholder, Argentina's Petersen Group.

Besides Galuccio, the government-appointed directors include Deputy Economy Axel Kicillof - the young, leftist economist seen as the brainchild of the takeover.

Argentina's main energy-producing provinces - Neuquen, Santa Cruz, Chubut and Mendoza - got one seat each on the board. Another six energy provinces will have one rotating seat.

The board reiterated that company shares would continue to trade at the Buenos Aires stock exchange and in New York, YPF said in a statement.   Continued...

A flag with the YPF logo is waved in front of the Argentine Congress in Buenos Aires, April 25, 2012. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci