UPDATE 1-Harvest Natural in talks to sell itself in $373 mln deal
Sept 11 (Reuters) - Oil and gas producer Harvest Natural Resources Inc said it was in exclusive talks to sell itself to Argentina's Pluspetrol in a deal valued at about $373 million including debt.
Shares of Harvest, which had a market value of $164 million as of Tuesday close, jumped 34 percent in premarket trading.
Pluspetrol plans to retain Harvest's 32 percent interest in Petrodelta SA, a joint venture between Harvest and Venezuela's state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA, and spin off the company's other assets to Harvest's shareholders.
Harvest's non-Venezuelan assets, which include interests in Gabon, Indonesia, Colombia and China, will be managed by its current management under a newly created company.
Harvest said there was no guarantee that the negotiations would result in a sale of the company or any of its assets.
A deal would be subject to approval by Venezuela's government, the company said.
A previous attempt by Harvest to sell its 32 percent stake in Petrodelta to Indonesia's state oil company PT Pertamina for $725 million was scuttled by the Indonesian government in February.
Harvest, whose shares have dropped about 25 percent since that deal fell through, has been looking to exit Venezuela since 2007, when the country nationalized most of its operations.