E.ON May Sell Stake in Gazprom

MOSCOW (Dow Jones Newswires), June 28, 2010

E.ON may soon sell its 3.5% stake in Russian gas giant Gazprom, the Interfax news agency reported Monday, citing unnamed banking sources.

E.ON doesn't plan to sell the share on the open market because it would hurt Gazprom's share price and may worsen relations with its Russian partner, the sources said.

A sale to a state company would be the most likely option, they said, adding that a sale could be announced by the end of this month.

Neither E.ON nor Gazprom were immediately available for comment.

Gazprom's Chief Executive Alexei Miller said Friday at a press conference that there had been no major changes to shareholdings of the company.

E.ON had considered its investment in Gazprom as strategic, but last year it exchanged a 3% stake in the company for a 25% share in the Yuzhno-Russkoye gas field in Siberia, leaving E.ON with a 3.5% stake.

Since then, the German company has been saying the remaining stake was a financial, not strategic investment.

At Monday's market price, the share is worth a little more than $4 billion.

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