International Petroleum (IOP) is in talks with a third party to sell its Russian business to come out of debt and finance its exploration for oil and gas.

On 24 April 2013, Range Resources urged to undertake a strategic merger to acquire all of the issued shares in IOP by offering three Range shares for every two IOP shares.

Range Resources then stated that the offer will be conducted as an off-market takeover offer by Range to IOP.

The company has informed Range about the asset sale and it remains committed to pursue the merger transaction after the confirmation of sale terms.

According to Range Resources, the sale of IOP’s Russian assets is expected to be between $120-$150m.

Range Resources executive director Peter Landau said the proposed asset sale would provide the merged entity with a solid financial position and balance sheet that will allow the combined group to advance and develop its production and highly prospective exploration projects, including Range’s core, large scale production operations in Trinidad, where they have recently significantly expanded their foot print through a farm in with Niko Resources.

"We remain extremely positive about the completion of the merger, and bringing Chris Hopkinson and his strong technical team (who recently spent over a week in Trinidad with the Range team) on board to complement Range’s existing team in Trinidad, to deliver the Company’s aggressive production growth plans in Trinidad, as well as developing and extracting the full potential of the other highly prospective projects within Range’s and IOP’s portfolios," Landau added.