Argentina OKs YPF's acquisition of majority stake in Metrogas

Buenos Aires, Apr 27 (EFE).- Argentina's government has given its approval for state-controlled energy company YPF's acquisition of a majority stake in the country's largest natural gas distributor, Metrogas.

In a regulatory filing, Metrogas said Argentina's gas regulator, Enargas, approved YPF's acquisition of 54.6 percent of the Class A shares of Gas Argentino - the holding company that controlled Metrogas - from Britain's BG Group.

The deal gave YPF a 70 percent stake in Metrogas.

In expressing its intention last November to become the majority shareholder in Metrogas, YPF said in a statement that it planned to make the company "more efficient and profitable," adding that it was "one of the most attractive gas distribution companies in Latin America with more than 2 million customers."

Metrogas is currently operating under bankruptcy protection after it was unable to find alternatives for refinancing its debt.

YPF has been under state control since the Argentine government expropriated a 51 percent stake in the company from Spain's Repsol, which maintains a 12 percent interest in YPF.