FT: RWE CEO Says Concerns Over DEA Sale Can Be Addressed
FRANKFURT, Dec 29 (Reuters) - RWE is confident it can address concerns by the British government over the German utility's planned sale of its oil and gas company DEA to Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman, its chief executive told the Financial Times.
"We have understood where the worries of the UK government are coming from and I think we will be able to offer a solution in which those worries are being taken care of," Peter Terium said in an article published on Monday.
The 5.1 billion euro ($6.23 billion) deal announced in March coincided with sanctions being imposed on Russia for its involvement in Ukraine, raising questions over whether a European oil and gas business should fall into Russian hands.
RWE in November said that the sale of DEA, which has operations in about a dozen countries, might be delayed.
The deal requires approval from the 14 countries where DEA operates, including Britain, which is reluctant to agree to it, a source familiar said at the time.
"Their (the British government's) worry is that in a future situation of sanctions on the buyers, there's a danger that these activities in the North Sea cannot be operated," Terium said.
"Even if it is very unlikely because our buyers are not Russians that are very close to the Russian government or the Russian president ... there are contractual remedies to take care of that situation if it happens," he said.
Fridman was one of the "group of seven" businessmen who funded former Russian President Boris Yeltsin's re-election bid in 1996. Since Vladimir Putin succeeded Yeltsin 14 years ago, several of them have been driven out of Russia, while others have seen their businesses blighted by a lack of political patronage. ($1 = 0.8191 euros)
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz, editing by Louise Heavens)
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