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No merger request from Gazprom, KES Holding yet - FAS

September 13, 2011, 18:53 UTC+3
The head of the FAS said the deal "would be undesirable from the standpoint of antitrust laws" and the agency's position on that issue "will be very cautious"
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MOSCOW, September 13 (Itar-Tass) —— The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has not yet received an application for the merger of the energy assets of Gazprom and Viktor Vekselberg’s group Renova, FAS deputy chief Anatoly Golomolzin told the media on Tuesday.

"There has been no such request yet. We have repeatedly expressed our attitude to such a deal. The present structure of the assets of Gazprom and KES-Holding (belongs to the group Renova) as it is, the deal would restrict competition. What sort of terms may be offered in a possible application we do not know yet," said Golomolzin.

In early August, the head of the FAS Igor Artemyev said that his agency supported the position of the Economic Development Ministry, which objected to the unification of energy assets of Gazprom and KES-Holding. "Our positions coincide, we discussed that at the working level. Usually, when we and the Economic Development Ministry see eye to eye, our viewpoint wins," Artemyev said.

This transaction would be contrary to the decisions stipulating the state should divest of the capital of companies operating in competitive markets, as well as to the principles of reforming the electricity industry, the Economic Development Ministry said.

Plans for a merger of assets of Gazprom Energy Holding and the largest private energy holding KES was announced in early July. Then the head of the FAS said the deal "would be undesirable from the standpoint of antitrust laws" and the agency's position on that issue "will be very cautious."

If the transaction does take place after all, there may emerge a company that would own about 52 GW of capacity, twice greater than the state-owned Inter RAO and more than a quarter of the RAO UES of Russia, liquidated in 2008.

The integrated energy systems KES-Holding is Russia's largest privately owned company that operates in the electricity and gas distribution sector. The company was founded in December 2002 for the implementation of strategic investment projects in the Russian electric power industry.

Gazprom is a gas production and transportation monopoly. More than 50 percent of its shares are state-owned.

 

 

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