Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska is close to agreements to restructure his companies' multi-billion-dollar debts, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing an interview with a senior official within Deripaska's Basic Element holding group.

Such agreements should allow Deripaska's empire to survive without losing control of its major assets, the paper cited the official as saying.

We're now in the position where, except for a few difficult situations, we think the businesses will make it, Olga Zinovieva, first deputy chief executive of Basic Element told the paper.

The acute phase is past, and if we sign binding documents with creditors, the situation will be normalized and the businesses will get through it calmly, the paper quoted Zinovieva as saying.

Basic Element, or Basel, controls assets including United Company RUSAL, the world's top aluminum producer, auto maker GAZ , several energy, construction, aviation and insurance firms, and other companies.

Basic Element told Reuters in April that Deripaska would ask lenders for another two to five years to repay debts incurred by companies within the holding group, and said the total debt accumulated by those companies in which Basic Element owns a stake was about $20 billion.

(Editing by Leslie Adler)