E.ON sells Gazprom stake

Marion Dakers
GERMAN energy giant E.ON has sold its 3.5 per cent stake in Russian gas firm Gazprom to market investors and Russia’s state-owned investment bank.

Vnesheconombank (VEB) will take a 2.7 per cent stake, while 0.8 per cent has been placed in the market. E.ON said the total proceeds from the sale stood at €3.4bn, resulting in a book gain of around €2.5bn.

The sale is part of E.ON’s aim of generating €15bn (£12.6m)?over the next three years through disposals and cost-savings. The firm has previously described the stake as a non-strategic investment.

“We will use these proceeds to further reduce our debt and to increase our flexibility for making new strategic investments. The sale of our Gazprom stake does not alter our Russia strategy,” said E.ON chief executive Johannes Teyssen.

It was reported last week that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, also chairman of VEB, discussed the sale of the stake with German chancellor Angela Merkel during a meeting in Berlin.