Gazprom still hasn't sold off shares at gas storage utility

Contrary to Latvian law, the Russian gas giant Gazprom hasn't sold its shares at the gas transmission and storage company, Conexus Baltic Grid, which operates the Inčukalns natural gas storage facility, reports Latvian Radio on January 2. 

The law says that shareholders at Conexus, with the exception of financial investor Marguerite Fund, had to sell off their shares by the end of 2017, so that the company's shareholders would be different from those at the gas utility Latvijas Gaze.

Rolands Irklis, the head of Latvia's Public Utilities Commission, said the utility regulator must wait until January 10 to take action, as by that time Conexus has to submit a certificate on whether the company is operating legally.

"From the currently available information, it follows that at least a single company, related to gas deliveries to the company, is still a shareholder," he said. 

The utility watchdog will therefore start evaluating the situation next week. 

State-owned power transmission operator Augstsprieguma Tikls currently holds a 34.36% stake at Conexus, after buying shares from Itera Latvija and Uniper Ruhrgas International GmbH, for an undisclosed sum.

As previously reported, Conexus Baltic Grid was founded late in 2016 to take over natural gas storage and transmission functions from the gas utility Latvijas Gaze. The company’s share capital is 39 million euros.

Latvian commercial TV3 channel reported earlier that the value of Conexus Baltic Grid shares might be 200 million euros.

The largest shareholders of Conexus Baltic Grid are Russian Gazprom (34.1%), Marguerite Fund (29.1%), state-owned Augstsprieguma tīkls (34.36%).

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