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Yukos and Sibneft seal Russia’s first super-merger

 Khodorkovsky and Shvidler: from Yukos and
Sibneft respectively, they will head the board
of a combined company that will soon be the
world's biggest oil producer

Oil majors Yukos and Sibneft tied the knot in Russia's first mega-merger last month and have created what will soon be the world's biggest oil company. At a stroke the creation of YukosSibneft drew a clear map for the development of Russia's oil sector, forcing the country's three largest companies to ready themselves for battle over the remaining oil and gas assets.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Roman Abramovich, respectively the owners of Yukos and Sibneft, had more luck with what was their second attempt to merge their companies than with their first try. They had first attempted to create Yuksi in the spring of 1998 when über-oligarch Boris Berezovsky was still a major Sibneft shareholder but the deal fell apart after they failed to agree on how to share control.

"Yuksi failed because in those days management were obsessive about control, as to lose control was to lose the cash," says Adams Landes, an oil and gas analyst at Renaissance Capital.

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