RIGA, March 31. /TASS/. Latvia’s government has proposed buying the share of Russia’s biggest gas producer Gazprom in the local gas storage and transportation operator Conexus Baltic Grid, Chairman of Latvijas Gaze management board Aigars Kalvitis told TASS.
"As far as I understand Gazprom is in talks on sale (of a 34.1% stake in Conexus Baltic Grid), there have been various related reports in the press. I know that the government has proposed buying Gazprom shares, reportedly. The result of the talks depends on both sides," he said, adding that such transactions usually take quite some time. "I know that the transaction on Marguerite Fund (second-biggest shareholder of Latvijas Gaze - TASS) purchase of shares from Uniper Ruhrgas International GmbH took two years," Chairman said.
Conexus Baltic Grid was set up in December 2016 as part of Latvijas Gaze reorganization. The gas distribution and storage functions were delegated to the new company. It is implied that initially the shareholder structure of Conexus Baltic Grid will almost coincide with that of Latvijas Gaze. The latter’s shareholders are Gazprom (34%), Marguerite Fund (28,97%), Uniper Ruhrgas International GmbH (18,26%) and Itera Latvija (Rosneft’s structure, 16%). Meanwhile, the new Latvian legislation prohibits gas-producing companies from holding shares in gas transportation assets, which is why Gazprom, Uniper and Itera Latvija will have to quit the country’s gas transportation businesses by 2018.