Federal office of cartels of Germany not against raising of Gazprom’s stake in German gas company

The Federal office of cartels of Germany has announced it is ready to approve Gazprom’s raising its stake in the German gas company VNG. All 10.5% of shares belonging to the Russian company will become voting.
The Federal office of cartels plans to approve Gazprom’s purchasing the shares of the largest in the East of Germany gas supplier – VNG from Leipzig. After the approval of the antimonopoly agency all the shares of the Russian gas monopoly will become voting. In 2010 it increased its stake in VNG from 5.3 to 10.5%, Reuters reports. The project of the agency’s decision was announced on Friday, Jan 13th, in Bonn. The antimonopoly agency studied if the competition would be kept in the gas imports market to Germany.
Until Jan 25th another shareholder of VNG, a long standing partner of Gazprom – Wintershall, can state its position. According to the agency, though due to close connections between these state enterprises their influence in the market will rise, the strengthening of Gazprom’s positions won’t lead to the negative consequences. Wintershall, an affiliate of BASF concern, also holds the blocking minority package of shares of VNG – 15.8%.
The final decision of the Federal office of cartels will be announced approximately on Jan 31st. it has a strategic meaning for the Russian concern that doesn’t plan to be a gas supplier only but is trying to gain access to the final consumers, DAPD agency says, www.dw-world.de reports.

Translated by Galiya Musabekova

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