25 Sep 2018 11:10

Regulator does not support merger of Gazprom Energoholding, T Plus

MOSCOW. Sept 25 (Interfax) - Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) does not support the idea of a merger between power companies Gazprom Energoholding (GEH) and PJSC T Plus , the head of the regulator, Igor Artemyev said in an interview with Kommersant published on Tuesday.

"The same approach, we're not thrilled at all. We already decided this issue in 2011, when we refused. There is no new application yet, but we don't support [it]," Artemyev said.

Billionaire Viktor Vekselberg and his Renova Group, among other Russian individuals and companies, were hit by U.S. sanctions in early April. The sanctions mean a freeze on all assets and ban against transactions in the United States and in dollars, and also restrict the companies' counterparties throughout the world, who risk being targeted by secondary sanctions.

By the end of the spring it emerged that GEH and Renova's T Plus, one of Russia's largest thermal power generating companies, were discussing a possible merger of assets. GEH chief executive Denis Fyodorov said in July that negotiations between the parties were at the initial stage of discussing the possibility and advisability of a deal.

Negotiations on a merger between T Plus and GEH could take a long time, Vekselberg said at the end of May. This refers specifically to a merger, he added.

A division of GEH, Tsentrenergoholding and T Plus commissioned an appraisal of their assets in September. It is anticipated that the results of the appraisal will be used for a potential deal to form a joint venture, the document stated.

T Plus has 61 power plants in 16 Russian regions with combined capacity of 15.7 GW. The company is also actively involved in renewable energy projects and has a portfolio of solar power plants with capacity of 175 MW.