22 Nov 2022 14:09

Sistema ended talks on buying Fortum/Uniper assets in Russia following ban on such deals

MOSCOW. Nov 22 (Interfax) - AFK Sistema ended talks on the purchase of assets from Fortum and Uniper in Russia following a presidential decree on banning transactions with shares in fuel and energy companies, Vladimir Yevtushenkov, Sistema's founder and biggest shareholder, said on the sidelines of a forum at the Financial University in Moscow.

"No," he said, when asked whether the company had requested such permission.

Fortum, one of the largest foreign investors in Russia's electricity sector, said in May that it planned to leave the Russian market. Market participants had told Interfax that the company was collecting offers to buy its assets and planned to make a decision by the beginning of July, but there have not been any announcements of deals since then.

In addition to its 98.23% stake in PJSC Fortum (formerly TGK-10), Fortum also holds a 30% stake in Russian power company TGK-1 , the principal shareholder of which is Gazprom Energoholding. Fortum also owns 73.4% of Germany's Uniper, which owns 83.73% of Russian power company Unipro . But Fortum in September 2022 reached an agreement with the German government on Uniper's nationalization due to the German energy company's financial state.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree at the beginning of August banning until December 31, 2022 the acquisition and sale of stakes in strategic companies, including from the energy sector.

But permission has been granted in one case: Lukoil and the Gazprombank-Frezia fund were cleared to purchase Enel's stake in Enel Russia at the end of September.