I can’t believe it’s not Gazprom! Gas giant’s UK division seeks rebrand as it severs ties with Putin
Gazprom Energy is planning to rebrand its UK supply business as it looks to distance itself from Putin’s regime and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The company is a disowned subsidiary of the larger Kremlin-backed energy giant.
It is considering changing its name to GM&T, according to The Financial Times.
Currently, the Manchester-based energy arm supplies more than 20 per cent of the gas used by British businesses.
The government had been weighing up whether to place Gazprom Energy into special administration in the case of collapse earlier this year.
It estimated that supporting its 30,000 corporate clients could have cost the taxpayer £4bn.
The UK business had been scrambling to stay afloat in March, following a bevy of Western sanctions on Russian industry following the eruption of conflict in Ukraine.
While it avoided specific sanctions, multiple clients exited the business, shying away from new contracts with the supplier.
However, the group has since been given a temporary reprieve after the German government took control if its parent company Gazprom Germania, after it was ditched by the Russian supplier.
It has made the Federal Network Agency, the country’s national energy regulator, a trustee of the company, initially until September 30.
A person close to the Kremlin-owned company told The Financial Times said: “The top management is keen but the trouble is that it’s not a radical rebrand so it’s unclear whether it will make much difference,”
The takeover means the future of Gazprom Energy and its customers is effectively in Germany’s hands, as are other assets owned by Gazprom Germania such as a large proportion of the European wholesale energy market and part of the global trade in liquefied natural gas.
The Federal Network Agency said it was “essential” to ensure Gazprom Germania and its subsidiaries continued to operate “in order to maintain Germany and Europe’s energy supply”.
“It’s in Germany’s overwhelming interest that banks, service providers and business partners of Gazprom Germania GmbH and its subsidiaries can continue their business operations with these companies in the usual way and without additional restrictions and changes.”
Berlin is not allowing Gazprom Energy to take on new customers and it continues to lose key staff.
At least 15 staff have recently left the business, some from its office in Manchester, where it has around 270 employees.